27.05.2024

We left the NHS and moved to Australia

Walks along the beach, month-long road trips and holidays in. These are just a few of the perks being enjoyed by British medical workers after moving to Australia.

Doctors and nurses are regularly taking to social media to boast of their ‘much happier’ lives Down Under — while their compatriot workers back home continue to strike for better pay and conditions.

As the latest figures show up to 40 per cent of the workforce is looking to resign or retire in the next five years, one British expat doctor suggested in a video that the exodus has only just begun.

Meanwhile, a medic who made the move to seven years ago says she is being flown back to the UK this year by a recruitment company to help snap up even more health workers.

It comes after a job advert this week emerged from another recruitment firm — Blugibbon Medical — looking for medics with A&E experience and promising rates of more than £1,000 per shift — of which you only have to work 10 each month.

Nurse Jasmine Brownlow (pictured) made the move to Australia about a year ago and often shares videos of her new life with her almost 50,000 followers on TikTok

Nurse Jasmine Brownlow (pictured) made the move to Australia about a year ago and often shares videos of her new life with her almost 50,000 followers on TikTok

Scottish TikTok star Dr Michael Mrozisnki has been living in Australia for a few years now and regularly encourages more British doctors to join him

Scottish TikTok star Dr Michael Mrozisnki has been living in Australia for a few years now and regularly encourages more British doctors to join him

As well as this, doctors who take up the offer are to be given a two-bedroom furnished apartment, use of a car and a bonus of up to £10,000 after one year.

The advert, which is currently on the British Medical Journal (BMJ) careers website, notes that the salary would put the successful candidates in the top 5 per cent of Australian earners.

It comes after tens of thousands of NHS junior doctors in England took to picket lines last month in pursuit of ‘pay restoration’, with many warning that medics in their droves are leaving the NHS to work for better pay, terms and conditions in Australia and elsewhere.

ARE YOU A UK NURSE OR DOCTOR WHO HAS MADE THE MOVE TO AUSTRALIA? 

Scottish TikTok star Dr Michael Mrozisnki has been living in Australia for a few years now and regularly encourages more British doctors to join him.

In a video uploaded at the end of April, he told his 362,000 followers: ‘I saw the writing on the wall in 2015… I moved and I’ve never been happier.

‘And it’s not just the money, I get treated so much better, I get more respect in Australia.’

He then fired a warning shot to the UK. Responding to a commenter who told him to ‘stop crying’ about working in the NHS, he said: ‘I don’t work in the UK anymore I work in Australia… I’m not crying!

‘I love being a doctor in Australia, but there are 40 per cent of doctors in the UK that are actively looking to leave the NHS.

A nurse from Northern Ireland named Caroline (pictured) has amassed more than 135,000 TikTok followers on her Acountydownunder account. She moved to Australia seven years ago and is now flying back to the UK to help recruitment companies there snap up more NHS workers

A nurse from Northern Ireland named Caroline (pictured) has amassed more than 135,000 TikTok followers on her Acountydownunder account. She moved to Australia seven years ago and is now flying back to the UK to help recruitment companies there snap up more NHS workers

TikTok nurse Emily New shares videos of her new work life in Australia

TikTok nurse Emily New shares videos of her new work life in Australia

‘You’ll be crying then when they do leave, you’ll be the first one complaining about private healthcare, you’ll be the first one complaining about long waits in the emergency departments, so, buckle up, it’s coming!’

Another Scot named Caitlin Stewart brands herself a ‘travelling nurse’ on TikTok.

A recent video shows her enjoying a road trip in Australia with the caption reading: ‘Eight week contract finished, time for a month off!’

And nurse Jasmine Brownlow made the move to Australia about a year ago and often shares videos of her new life with her almost 50,000 followers on TikTok.

In one clip this week she is seen sipping on a cocktail with the caption reading: ‘You move to Australia and a few days off work mean sipping cocktails at a beach club in Fiji.’

In another video she wrote: ‘Taking a year out of my life to travel and have new experiences has been the best thing I could have ever done.’

Meanwhile, a nurse from Northern Ireland named Caroline has amassed more than 135,000 TikTok followers on her Acountydownunder account.

In response to a question on whether they planned to work as a doctor in another country within the next year, one third of the group agreed. Australia was the top destination, with 42 per cent of the cohort planning to move there. New Zealand (20 per cent), the Middle East, Canada and Europe, excluding the UK, (each 9 per cent) were also popular. One in 20 said they planned to go to the US

In response to a question on whether they planned to work as a doctor in another country within the next year, one third of the group agreed. Australia was the top destination, with 42 per cent of the cohort planning to move there. New Zealand (20 per cent), the Middle East, Canada and Europe, excluding the UK, (each 9 per cent) were also popular. One in 20 said they planned to go to the US

Junior doctors are being lured to Australia with a near-£130,000 a year salary and 20 days off a month to 'travel, swim and surf'

Junior doctors are being lured to Australia with a near-£130,000 a year salary and 20 days off a month to ‘travel, swim and surf’

She moved to Australia seven years ago and is now flying back to the UK to help recruitment companies there snap up more NHS workers.

In a video uploaded to her TikTok account in March she says: ‘For the past seven years I have been living in Sydney, Australia, and my life has been nothing but a dream.

‘I work to live and not live to work… this year I’m going around the country, helping to recruit nurses to Australia, because on a daily basis on my Instagram, people always ask me how to make the move, so now I’m coming to venues near you to tell you just how amazing it is in person.’

It comes as the recent job advert calling for Brits to move to Australia makes reference to former doctor Adam Kay’s popular book and TV series This Is Going To Hurt.

The online advert states: ‘A&E Registrar sick of the NHS? This isn’t going to hurt…’.

And a picture of a paper advert, shared by Dr Kay on Twitter, also references his piece, saying: ‘Got that Dr Adam K feeling? Come to Australia!’

The advert says it is looking for ‘a couple or two friends’ for the jobs on offer who have had four years’ experience, including in accident and emergency, since graduating from medical school.

It states that the ‘best part’ about the job is only working five night shifts in a row, twice a month — meaning the successful candidate is off the rest of the time to ‘travel or enjoy one of the world’s most liveable (and cost-effective) cities’.

Dr Kay called the advert ‘depressing’ and suggested that the Government address junior doctors’ pay concerns or face them leaving the NHS.

He wrote: ‘How depressing to see this in the BMJ. It’s hard to say those figures don’t present a compelling argument.

In reference to Adam Kay’s (pictured) popular book and TV series This Is Going To Hurt, the online advert says ‘A&E Registrar sick of the NHS? This isn’t going to hurt…’

NHS junior doctors take part in a march and rally in the centre of Birmingham on April 14, holding signs asking 'What will you do when we're gone?' and suggesting moves to Australia

NHS junior doctors take part in a march and rally in the centre of Birmingham on April 14, holding signs asking ‘What will you do when we’re gone?’ and suggesting moves to Australia

‘It all leads to a big question for the govt: if you don’t address doctors’ very reasonable pay concerns, alongside their conditions and wellbeing, guess where they’re going?’

On the BMJcareers website, the job posting promises an annual salary of A$240,000 (£127,600) and requires medics to commit to the role for 12 months.

This includes A$2,000 (£1,064) per shift and a A$10,000 (£5,2899) to A$20,000 (£10,632) bonus after one year.

The positions would be based at private hospital Brisbane Northside Emergency — which is located in the northern suburbs of Brisbane, Queensland.

Those who are successful will work five night shifts (9pm to 7pm) in a row twice a month and the rest of the month they will be off. There are no on-call requirements but optional extra shifts are available if wanted.

The ad claims wait times at the emergency department are just four minutes per patient.

For comaprison, one in five patients in England were waiting more than 12 hours to be seen by an NHS doctor in April, latest official figures show.

The attractive Aussie offer comes weeks after junior doctors carried out a four-day strike over the 26 per cent real terms pay cut they have faced over the last 15 years.

One junior doctor shared his payslip on Twitter amid the strikes, showing his take home at the end of his second year was just £1,823 for the month — less than just two shifts alone at the Australian private medical centre.

British Medical Association (BMA) chiefs, who organised the unprecedented four-day walk-out, are demanding a 35 per cent pay rise, which could be worth up to £20,000 extra for some medics. The Government has branded current demands ‘ridiculous’.

Downing Street has insisted there will be no talks unless junior doctors abandon their starting position of a 35 per cent pay rise and call off the strikes.

However, the BMA, which represents 45,000 junior doctors in England, has countered that Government should ‘get into the room and discuss pay restoration – whether that means 35 per cent or not’.

In January, junior doctor Edward Bridge told the i how he and his partner, who is also a doctor, moved to Brisbane in 2018 in search of a ‘better work-life balance’.

The 29-year-old said they had become ‘fed up’ with low pay, antisocial working hours and feeling burnt out.

‘The only way to incentivise people to come back is to make working conditions better and safer for doctors,’ he said. ‘Part of that is also paying them more.’

He added that it is ‘pretty horrendous’ working in an under-staffed A&E, and described working in the NHS as ‘difficult, frustrating and demoralising’.

Dr Bridge said he had never intended to move to Australia as he resonates with the values the NHS was built upon, however the ‘traumatic’ experiences he had as a junior doctor in the UK changed that.

NHS junior doctors take part in a march and rally in the centre of Birmingham on April 14, with a sign saying: 'Would have made a bigger sign but I needed the cardboard boxes ro pack for New Zealand'

NHS junior doctors take part in a march and rally in the centre of Birmingham on April 14, with a sign saying: ‘Would have made a bigger sign but I needed the cardboard boxes ro pack for New Zealand’

During the junior doctors' strike in March, the BMA claimed that newly qualified junior doctors in England earn £14.09 an hour, less than a barista in a coffee shop

The BMA has highlighted the low pay as part of a new advertising campaign in support of the pay dispute by junior doctors in England

The BMA has highlighted the low pay as part of a new advertising campaign in support of the pay dispute by junior doctors in England

One junior doctor shared his payslip on Twitter (pictured) amid the strikes, showing his take home at the end of his second year was just £1,823 for the month - less than just two shifts alone at the Australian private medical centre

One junior doctor shared his payslip on Twitter (pictured) amid the strikes, showing his take home at the end of his second year was just £1,823 for the month — less than just two shifts alone at the Australian private medical centre

‘You look at your paycheck after a couple of difficult months when you’ve been doing nights, weekends and suddenly you’re like, «why am I doing this to myself when there is a better option, there is a better lifestyle out there»,’ he added.

That same month it was revealed a husband-wife doctor duo had also made the move because of pay and the fact the NHS is a ‘pressure cooker’.

Dr Arpita Ghosh and Dr Amit Saha left the UK for Perth, Australia, in 2018 — tempted by better pay and working conditions.

They told the Evening Standard that Australia offers autonomy and flexibility, which is ‘important for someone who has a family’.

Dr Ghosh, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist who trained at Kings College London, thanked the NHS for #making me the doctor I am’ but admitted it is now ‘crunched’.

‘The NHS is a pressure cooker,’ Dr Ghosh added. ‘There is no comparison between your work-life balance in the Australian system compared to Britain.

‘Pay also matters and there is a huge disparity between what is offered in both countries.’

It’s not just doctors that are fleeing the UK in search of attracting Australian job offers though, as Scottish nurses revealed they have tripled their wage since moving there.

Laurel Dyer, 28, from the Isle of Mull, Scotland, moved to Australia last year and has undertaken roles in Western Australia and New South Wales — while fulfilling her love for the outdoors.

Ms Dyer, who is employed by a nursing agency, told The Times her income was around triple what she earned back home and revealed some of her Scottish nursing colleagues have followed her lead.

‘They came at a very similar time to me and are loving it out in Australia,’ she said.

‘I think the friends that are still at home are more settled in their life, but they are very envious of the job, the money, the lifestyle of Australia.

‘I think if it wasn’t for those roots there, they would probably be out in a heartbeat.’

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