You may be wondering what a Non VR GP is. These are GPs who graduated between 1989 and 1996 and aren’t vocationally registered. This group is eligible for the A1 rebate but are not paid as much as “VR” GPs. In fact, they will often be paid less than their “VR” counterparts. However, they may end up becoming a vocationally registered GP in the future.
Non VR GPs are GPs who graduated between 1989 and 1996
Most of the GPs who graduated in this period are now considered non VR, meaning they are not on the Vocational Register. These GPs are still subject to pay discrimination and have considerable experience working in general practice or in other medical disciplines. They have also benefited from the grandfathering scheme, which enables them to remain in practice, even if they have fewer hours than their VR-compliant colleagues.
Currently, GPs can gain access to VR through the Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, the Fellowship of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine, or through the General Practice Vocational Register. However, changes to the policy have met with dissatisfaction amongst GPs who graduated between 1989 and 1996. Because non-VR GPs cannot grandfather onto the VR, they have to undergo further training. In addition, the changes have caused red tape and other difficulties for non-VR GPs.
They are eligible for the A1 rebate
Non VR GPs are a type of GP who has completed their primary medical qualification outside of Australia, and do not have the RACGP Fellowship. The A1 rebate is available to non VR GPs, provided that they meet certain criteria. Currently, the A1 rebate is available to non VR GPs working in MMM 2-7 locations. The rate difference is about $6.60 per standard consultation, and this is subject to additional eligibility requirements, such as working in an area of shortage of workforce.
In the past, doctors with non-VR jobs were forced to take time off work because they had to care for family members. Some doctors with over 30 years’ experience were prevented from joining the VR system because they decided to upgrade their skills or had to work in public hospital emergency departments. Non-VR GPs also faced pay discrimination. Currently, there are only 4,150 non-VR GPs in Australia.
They are paid less than “VR” GPs
In an unjust discrimination, the government has frozen Medicare rebates for both “VR” and “Non-VR” GPs. As a result, the Medicare pay of non-VR GPs has been reduced by almost half since 1992. This is brazenly unfair, and it is illegal. Nonetheless, non-VR GPs still get almost double the Medicare remuneration of their VR counterparts, and the compensation is twice that of their non-LMO colleagues.
Although this practice is illegal, the Government has tightened its guard and the list of non-VR GPs. They want to prevent a large enough group from forming and suing the Government. Nevertheless, doctors have won class-action suits against non-VR doctors. In the meantime, doctors who are interested in joining a newly-created register of non-VR GPs should get in touch with their state government to get a better deal.
They may become vocationally registered
Previously non-VR GP jobs may become vocationally registered after applying for and completing a three-year training program. Undertaking the AGPT program allows non-VR GPs to access higher Medicare rebates. This is because vocationally registered doctors are required to be in a general practice or a Medical Deputising Service (MDS). In the past, non-VR GPs have been able to claim a lower Medicare rebate because they are not registered.
This program was introduced to increase access to high-quality primary health care. In return for higher Medicare rebates, non-VR GPs must be working towards fellowship. RACGP has developed a training program to assist non-VR GPs to achieve fellowship. The program also requires GPs to complete the requirements of the RACGP’s CPD program. However, a non-VR GP can still access a higher rebate if they obtain a fellowship.