Uncovering an invisible workforce

Catherine M Joyce
Med J Aust 2004; 181 (11): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2004.tb06502.x
Published online: 6 December 2004

To the Editor: Hays notes that international medical graduates on temporary residency visas are “an almost invisible workforce”.1 This invisibility results partly from a lack of data, but it also stems from a lack of coordination and consistency between agencies which do hold relevant data. In the main, these doctors hold conditional registration (rather than general registration) with state and territory medical registration boards. However, there are inconsistencies between jurisdictions in how data on conditional registrants are treated in relation to national medical workforce data collection (namely the annual national medical labour force surveys overseen by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare [AIHW]), and in how statistics relating to this group are reported.


  • 1. Hays RB. An invisible workforce? [letter]. Med J Aust 2004; 181: 385. <MJA full text>
  • 2. Medical Board of Western Australia 16th annual report 2003. Perth: MBWA, 2003.
  • 3. Medical Board of Queensland. 2002–2003 Annual report and financial statements. Brisbane: MBQ, 2003.
  • 4. Medical Practitioners Board of Victoria. Annual report 2003. Melbourne: MPBOV, 2003.
  • 5. New South Wales Medical Board. Annual report 2003. Sydney: NSWMB, 2003.
  • 6. Australian Health Ministers’ Conference. National health workforce strategic framework. Sydney: AHMC, 2004.


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