All doctors who wish to practice medicine in New Zealand, whether they have trained here or overseas, must be registered with the Medical Council of New Zealand. To fulfill your ambition to work in New Zealand as a GP, locum or specialist, here are five key things you should know about medical registration.
The first step in the registration process begins with determining your particular pathway. Pathways to registration differ, with each pathway defined by a number of different factors, such as medical qualifications, work experience, country of training and whether you plan to work in New Zealand short-term or permanently. The Medical Council website offers an assessment tool to help you to determine your registration pathway. The self-assessment tool can be found here.
Medical professionals planning to work in New Zealand generally fall into one of four main pathways for registration:
Competent Authority Pathway (UK and Irish graduates)
Comparable Health System Pathway – One of the requirements for this pathway is that you must hold a primary medical degree from a university medical school listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools.
Scopes of Practice:
Your particular qualifications and expertise in the practice of medicine will determine the scope of practice for which you will be registered for and permitted to perform in New Zealand. The three categories of scopes of practice are:
General – resident medical officers (RMO) and doctors in vocational training
Vocational – doctors who have completed their vocational training and have gained a postgraduate qualification
Special purpose – doctors visiting New Zealand for a specific reason such as a locum tenens for up to 12 months
Ochre Recruitment consultants are available to answer any queries or discuss scope of practice options with you. More detail on each of these scopes of practice, plus two other provisional scopes of practice can be found on the NZMC website.
Fitness for Registration:
To gain registration you must be able to demonstrate that you meet the Fitness for Registration requirements. These are legal requirements under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 (Section 16). The Medical Council of New Zealand will need to be satisfied that you:
can communicate effectively and comprehend English
have not been convicted by any Court in New Zealand or overseas of an offence punishable by imprisonment for a term of three months or longer; and that the offence does not reflect adversely on your fitness to practise
do not suffer from a physical or mental disorder which may affect your ability to practice medicine
are not under investigation or the subject of professional disciplinary proceedings in New Zealand or overseas, and that any matter under investigation does not reflect adversely on your fitness to practise
are not subject to an order of a professional disciplinary tribunal, a similar body or an accredited educational institution, either in New Zealand or overseas; and that any order does not reflect adversely on your fitness to practise
are not a danger to the health or safety of members of the public.
Cost of Registration:
While your registration pathway determines which applications, certificates or registration fees are necessary in order for you to gain full registration, fees also vary depending on which scope of practice is being considered. For example, (as from 1st September), the registration fee for the Competent Authority Pathway (UK and Irish graduates) under a provisional general/general scope of practice is NZ$387.06, while those on same pathway seeking a special purpose scope of practise as a Locum Tenens would pay NZ$380.14.
Ochre Consultants will be able to guide you gently through this maze, and you’ll find a comprehensive breakdown of fees on the New Zealand Medical Council website.
It’s a smart move to harness the services of a reputable recruitment company like Ochre Recruitment to help you through the registration process. Working with an experienced consultant means administrative, immigration and medical registration requirements are often able to be fast-tracked. Ochre Recruitment has developed a tailored approach that takes into account your specific needs and preferences and works alongside you to achieve success.
So why don’t you give them a call? The team at Ochre Recruitment would love to hear from you and can be contacted directly to discuss medical registration requirements or employment opportunities within New Zealand.