AoN Area of Need

The objective of the "AoN" Area of Need program (the Program) is to assist in the provision of general practice and specialist medical services to locations in NSW that have limited access to such services.

Medical Jobs Australia work hand in hand with this program that assists employers in NSW who are experiencing difficulty recruiting medical practitioners with specialist registration, to recruit suitably qualified international medical graduates (IMGs) to vacant positions that have been approved by the NSW Ministry of Health as an Area of Need.

If a position is declared an Area of Need, the Medical Board of Australia can register a suitable IMG into that position under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (NSW) following assessment of the IMG by the relevant Specialty College as suitable for the position and provided they meet all other registration requirements required by the Medical Board of Australia.

The Program is a strategy to provide temporary assistance to locations and services experiencing medical workforce shortages. The priority remains on continued efforts to attract and recruit medical practitioners who have specialist registration to vacancies.

Applicants should also be familiar with the registration requirements for medical officers in AoN positions which can be found by visiting the Medical Board of Australia website


Registration for AoN

Registration for area of need is the responsibility of the Medical Board of Australia.

Employers may apply for certification to employ an overseas trained doctor for a General Practice or Hospital / Private Specialty  position.

This declaration allows employers unable to fill vacant medical practitioner positions with suitably qualified Australian or New Zealand trained doctors, to recruit International Medical Graduates.

The  class of medical practitioner that work in one or more locations under AoN, are normally based on written evidence provided by the employer / authorised agent which demonstrates the need for the position.

An Area of Need is a location in Australia where there are insufficient health practitioners practicing in a particular health profession to provide services at a level which meets the needs of the community.

District of workforce shortage approval is NOT required when applying for the following positions:

  •        Public Health Service positions (except MSRPP & MORPP);
  •        Bona-fide Locum Services (registered general practice locum medical service, short term relief only) ;
  •        Approved Medical Deputising Service (general practice Australian Government approved);
  •        After Hours Only Service (general practice weekdays between 6pm and 8am, wkends and pub-hols
  •        Aboriginal Medical Service (accredited general practice).

Applications must include confirmation of district of workforce shortage printed from the Doctor Connect website for General Practitioners See Map of Australia at:

If an applicant has received a notice from the Department of Health and Ageing regarding a District of Workforce Shortage which accepts special circumstance allowing for an overseas trained doctor to access the Medicare benefits arrangement, this does not guarantee that the applicant will be approved an Area of Need.

The Ministers for Health's delegate for certifying Area of Need for medical services may not consider this enough evidence to consider that the jurisdiction or the part of the jurisdiction has insufficient medical practitioners practicing to provide services that meet the needs of people living in the jurisdiction or the part of the jurisdiction.

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