International medical graduate numbers examined amid flood of Doctors

Published May 9th, 2016 by Tristar Medical Group

Dr Khaled El-SheikhTristar Medical Group CEO, Dr Khaled El-Sheikh, has hit back at claims International medical graduates (IMGs) are being used to undermine GP clinics.

Given the record numbers of medical students and GP registrars coming through the system, the number of IMGs on limited registration filling workforce gaps is under the spotlight again,
with the RACGP saying the situation needs “close monitoring”.

Dr Khaled El­Sheikh operates around 50 bulk­billing clinics with 200­plus doctors has
condemned the claims as “industrial squabbling”, saying IMGs are meeting genuine needs.

“There are communities all over Australia where there is no doctor, no practice.”

“Australian­trained doctors don’t want to uproot their families to work in these towns. I don’t
see that changing.”

He said Australian­trained GPs, given their rarity in rural areas, were often described as
“unicorns” by IMGs.

“I think many IMGs feel some resentment at the way they are perceived. But what people
forget is that these doctors [on limited registration] often go on to get fellowships. They
become the mainstream.”

The RACGP has called for monitoring of the need for non­specialist IMGs providing general
practice care, “especially in areas of geographical maldistribution”.

The debate over whether there are too many doctors working as GPs has also been fuelled by
a controversial Federal Government decision in February, to grant District of Workforce
Shortage status to some 460 rural and remote communities.

This article is a summary of an interview between Dr Khaled El-Sheikh, Tristar CEO and AustralianDoctor (

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