Our well-equipped Mt Gambier practice.
Opportunity: We are looking to expand our growing practice of four ophthalmologists. We have private rooms which we own, so there is minimal bureaucratic interference for consulting, and intraocular surgery takes place in the accredited operating theatres of Mt Gambier Hospital and Hamilton Hospital. Potentially, we could also expand to Naracoorte and Casterton.
Working environment: Consulting, whether public or private, is covered by Medicare but most patients pay a small gap fee in addition. About 25% of patients are private (either insured or self-funding) which is relevant for those having surgery. We don’t have any commitment for weekends or nights on call so it’s fair to say that working in Australia provides a great work / life balance.
Practice: Ophthalmology in this semirural setting needs to be pretty general, meaning we do lots of cataract operations and basic oculoplastic and medical retina. I offer glaucoma subspecialist procedures like trabeculectomies and tube drains. Retinal detachments and corneal grafts have to be referred to major cities like Geelong, Melbourne or Adelaide. And while we have a visiting orthoptist, we believe a new ophthalmologist could add to our services.
Legalities: Getting a visa and work permit is tedious. Fortunately, rural Victoria and South Australia are designated as an ‘Area of Need’ which will help facilitate immigration. With a British passport and CCST, the process takes around 12 months, but the effort is worthwhile. The good news is that ophthalmologists are on the ‘Skilled Occupations List’ for priority immigration to Australia, but the process is still time-consuming. You can apply online for temporary residency through the Australian Department of Home Affairs. Log on to IMMI to start the process:
Relocation: Home life is great and schools here are well regarded, which will suit a young family. You might choose to live near the coast or on a small farm. I have a 43-foot sailing yacht and Portland boasts the best deep-water harbour in Victoria. The surrounding countryside is also beautiful, known as ‘the green triangle’ due to its agriculture, and is plentiful of grazing, forests and vineyards. Portland also lies on the Great South West Walk, which is a magnificent trail of 250km with sections going through native forest, alongside rivers or along its beautiful beaches.
The Blue Lake at Mount Gambier.
Stunning climbs and views at The Grampian mountains.
Australia has many outdoor opportunities. Fisherman can catch salmon from the beach or go sport fishing for tuna in the Southern Ocean. There are golf courses and many other sporting opportunities including hang gliding, kite surfing, cricket and drag racing.
Extra hazards playing golf in Victoria.
I came over in 2013 initially as ‘a temporary resident’, which is necessary for work purposes, after resigning from a consultant post in Scotland due to frustration with the NHS. Now my pay has doubled, my free time increased and my working conditions are far better than in the UK.
Get in touch: I will answer questions from anyone considering supercharging their life by relocating to Oz. Reach out to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists
Immigration and Citizenship