Medical Board of Australia - Media release

Media release

04 Oct 2013

The Board has issued an update about the status of retired doctors with Limited registration (public interest - occasional practice).

Update: Limited registration (public interest - occasional practice)

The Medical Board of Australia has confirmed that more than 70 per cent of older, retired doctors with Limited registration (public interest - occasional practice) have made an active choice about their future registration status.

There were around 1,000 medical practitioners with this type of registration, who under the National Law were not able to renew this category of registration. These practitioners were able to choose to apply for general registration (and meet the Board’s registration requirements), apply for non-practising registration, or opt out of registration.

About 600 of these practitioners were due to renew their registration by 30 September 2013, and therefore had to decide about their future registration status. The remaining 400 practitioners will have to make a decision about their future registration status in 2014.

Background information about this category of registration is published on the Medical Board website.

By the 30 September deadline, of the 600 practitioners:

  • 316 had applied for general registration 
  • 123 had applied for non-practising registration 
  • 1 had applied for specialist registration 
  • 3 had surrendered their registration 
  • 5 were deceased, and 
  • 182 had not responded to AHPRA’s reminders.

To support the transition for these practitioners, AHPRA and the Board had developed a specific application form, waived the application fee to transfer registration type, deemed that the practitioners had met the Board’s recency of practice registration standard (provided their scope of practice was unaltered), waived the requirement to demonstrate English language proficiency and sent two reminders directly to individual practitioners.

The Board values the important contribution these doctors have made to their communities over many years. The role of the Board is to protect the public, including by upholding professional standards.

The Board is pleased that more than 70 per cent of doctors made an active choice about their future registration status and have received positive feedback from many practitioners about the support provided by AHPRA and the Board to help them make this transition.


Across Australia there were around 1,000 medical practitioners with a type of registration called Limited registration (public interest - occasional practice). These medical practitioners were granted this type of registration at the transition to the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (the National Scheme), because they held a similar type of registration under previous legislation.

While the details of their registration varied between states, they only practised ‘occasionally’, often limited to prescribing and referring and often without being remunerated. Under the National Law they held registration with conditions similar to the previous provisions under which they were registered. The section of the National Law under which they are registered is s273.

The registration category is not available after three renewals of registration in the National Scheme.

All of the available types of registration are prescribed in the National Law and the law can only be changed by legislative amendment in each state and territory; not by policy decision of the Medical Board or AHPRA or any other national board.

An information sheet about this category of registration is published on the Medical Board of Australia website.

For more information

  • Lodge an online enquiry form 
  • For registration enquiries: 1300 419 495 (within Australia) +61 3 8708 9001 (overseas callers) 
  • For media enquiries: (03) 8708 9200

Download a PDF of this Media release - Update: Limited registration (public interest - occasional practice) - 4 October 2013 (82.5 KB,PDF)

Page reviewed 4/10/2013