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STUDY ABROAD OPPORTUNITIES FOR DOCTORS AND HEALTH PROFESSIONALS

Australia is a great place to study medicine and healthcare, with world class facilities and a vast number of courses and specialisations on offer. But making a switch from one country to another in the field of healthcare is never straightforward.

To begin with, there are registration bodies involved and one has to look at all the criteria in great detail. Second, Indian medical qualifications are assessed differently abroad, including in Australia.

And third, the Australian education model is different to ours, and even within Australia various models of medical education exist. So it’s important to understand those models to determine where you can fit into them with your experience and qualifications gained in India.

Undergraduate entry programs in Australia are typically of 5–6 years in duration and entry is possible with secondary school matriculation. Applicants are assessed on the basis of their high school performance and school leaving certificate, their UMAT (Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Admission Test) score, and a personal/telephonic interview.

Graduate medical programs are of a shorter duration, typically lasting 4 years. Applicants are required to hold a bachelor degree qualification (of a desired level) in addition to having passed aptitude tests – GAMSAT (Graduate Australian Medical Schools Admission Test) is the most common selection test used – and interviews.

Admissions at both the undergraduate and graduate levels are highly competitive due to a limited numbers of seats available, and the courses are expensive. A Masters of Primary Health at the University of Melbourne costs A$50,304 per year, with the total cost of it over the four years of the course amounting to A$216,818, around Rs. 1.25 crore.

That puts is way beyond the budget of most Indian families. If, however, you do have the money to spend and the ambition to study further, there are a number of healthcare-related courses on offer in Australian universities.

Let’s look at some of the advanced-level study options available in Australia to healthcare professionals from India.

Master of Public Health (MPH)

 

This is a post-graduate course in the field of public health open to health professionals from a variety of backgrounds. The aim is for them to come together to study health and nutrition problems prevalent in the Australian population and learn how to resolve them. This is done via developing their quantitative and analytical competencies, and further enhancing their communication skills, to prepare them for an administrative role.

The graduates will go on to work in government and non-government organisations, community health services, hospitals, research bodies, and public health and health promotion agencies. They will be expected to work with teams that design and implement health policies and health development programs in Australia for the betterment of the larger population.

If you are interested in undertaking this course, here is a list of the Australian universities that offer it:

  • Australian National University, Canberra ACT
  • Griffith University, Brisbane, Queensland
  • University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland
  • Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland
  • Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia
  • Deakin University, Melbourne, Victoria
  • LaTrobe University, Melbourne, VIC
  • Monash University, Melbourne, VIC
  • University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia
  • Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia
  • University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC
  • University of Newcastle, Newcastle, New South Wales
  • University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales
  • University of Sydney, Sydney School of Public Health, Sydney, New South Wales
  • University of Western Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales
  • University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia
  • University of Wollongong, Wollongong, New South Wales
  • Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin, NT

Master of Health Administration (MHA)

As the name suggests, the Master of Health Administration is a professional course for those with administerial ambitions in the field of healthcare. The aim of this course is to teach professionals (usually mid-level health service managers) how to plan, coordinate, and deliver excellent health and social services to the Australian public. As part of this course you will need to understand the Australian demographics, the regulatory system in the country, and all the levels of health care.

On top of health administration, you will also be taught management of hospitals and public health infrastructure. Those interested in undertaking this course should think of themselves as the future healthcare providers to the continent-nation; a role of tremendous responsibility, as is the case with all medicine and health-related jobs.

You don’t need to be a medical graduate to apply for this course though, as it is more about management than medicine. The course is therefore open to graduates from other disciplines who are interested in making a career in health administration. Some universities in Australia also offer this course as part of a larger MBA program. You do, however, need to have some experience of having worked in the field of health care as a professional to be eligible for this course.

Furthermore, this course prepares graduates for entry to the Australasian College of Health Service Management and assists medical practitioners to enter the Royal Australian College of Medical Administrators.

Here’s a list of universities that offer this course in Australia:

  • Griffith University, Brisbane, Queensland
  • Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland
  • Murdoch University
  • The University of New South Wales(UNSW)
  • Australian Catholic University
  • La Trobe University
  • Federation University Australia
  • University of Wollongong
  • University of Western Australia
  • UTS
  • Monash University
  • University of Sydney

Studying Nursing in Australia

For nurses registered in India who are keen on moving abroad, things are not as simple as making an application and packing their bags. If your aim is to move to Australia for work you will have to first ascertain if your Indian qualification will be recognised there. You can have your qualifications assessed for equivalency with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia to determine if you can work as a nurse in Australia.

For those who are interested in taking their nursing education further, you will have to first zero in on the state/university of choice. Bear in mind that every state in Australia has its own nursing council. Depending on where you are interested in pursuing your studies, you will have to individually check the requirements of the state’s medical council.

Once that is done you will need to get your Indian degree assessed for credit with the university you are interested in joining for undergraduate studies. Along with that you will also be expected to present a very good IELTS score to be able to gain admission. While many universities offer Bachelor of Nursing Science courses in the country, the seats are limited and fill up fast. Hence it is strongly recommended that you act quickly not to lose out on your chance of gaining admission with the university of your interest.

Those who possess no nursing qualifications, but do hold a graduate degree in a related subject, have the option of applying for the 2-year Master of Nursing Science program (in certain universities). Once again, the exact procedure will depend on the university you are applying to.

Some of the popular institutes for nursing in Australia are:

  • University of Canberra
  • Australian Catholic University
  • University of Tasmania
  • Charles Strut University
  • Central Queensland University
  • Griffith University
  • Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology(RMIT)
  • Edith Cowan University
  • Holmesglen TAFE
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