Lowering standards for overseas doctors plays Russian roulette with Australian lives

Any move to further lower qualification standards for overseas doctors to practice in Australia would be playing Russian roulette with Australian lives.

One Nation leader Senator Pauline Hanson said NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard’s reckless call to fast-track overseas doctors risked lowering the medical standards they needed to meet to practice in Australia.

“Our standards for practicing medicine are high for a very good reason – to ensure the best possible health and medical care for the Australian people,” Senator Hanson said. “Australia’s medical community is recognised for its world-leading expertise.

“I’m all for practical solutions to address our worsening doctor shortage, including suitably-qualified practitioners from overseas, but not at the expense of the basic standards required of doctors to practice medicine.

“These have already been lowered for overseas doctors in an effort to fix the doctor shortage but instead of more of them passing, failure rates have increased to about 75%. You must meet a certain standard of proficiency in English to safely practice medicine in Australia and too many overseas applicants can’t achieve it, even with support.

“It would simply be too dangerous to lower standards any further. I’m not alone in that I won’t see a foreign doctor for my health care.

“Instead of outsourcing our health care to overseas doctors, we need to overhaul a health system which is overworking and underpaying our general practitioners and burdening them with too much useless medical and business red tape. This is helping to drive doctors and graduates into city hospitals as specialists, when what we need most is more GPs – especially in regional areas.

“And if Brad Hazzard wants to reduce red tape, abolishing useless COVID-19 vaccine mandates across Australia would make a lot more health practitioners and workers immediately available. With a health system in crisis it makes no sense to continue this discrimination against people better qualified than any of us to make an informed decision about the jabs.”

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