OVERSEAS doctors forced to work in rural Australia are unsatisfied in their work and personal life, a new study has revealed.
The study published last week found international doctors mandated to work in rural areas to gain full Medicare access were far less satisfied in social and work life than other GP's.
Overseas-trained doctors can't work under Medicare for 10 years, unless they get an exemption, which is only available if they work in designated areas of need, which are mostly isolated regions.
The study of 3502 GP's also found overseas-trained doctors were also significantly less satisfied than other international GP's who has chosen to remain in the bush after their compulsory service.
Lead author and Monash Gippsland Medical School researcher Matthew McGrail said it was an important issue given about 40 per cent of rural GPs in Australia were overseas trained."I wanted to look at was separating international medical graduates into two types," Dr McGrail said.
"Those that are mandated, which means they are forced to work in a rural areas as opposed to those who have served the mandated area and are not restricted.
"There was a clear and strong negative satisfaction coming through for these mandated GPs compared to Australian trained GPs."
Dr McGrail said the results raised some serious concerns because of the strong link between retention and workplace satisfaction.
He said it's the doctors who were not happy with their job or social life would be more likely to leave the rural area once they have served their mandatory time.
"So obviously something need to be done to help them and improve their situation," he said.
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia said in a statement they did not support the current government policy around this issue.
"Which (is) placing overseas trained local in isolation in rural areas without the professional and personal support they need," the statement said.