Refugee Week

Refugee doctor back on track saving lives

Saif Noori understands both hard work and hardship. 

Before arriving in Australia in May 2018 on a humanitarian visa, Mr Noori was a medical officer at a hospital in Iraq.

Mr Noori has a bachelor’s degree in medicine and surgery from the University of Baghdad College of Medicine and had worked for four years at Al-Imam Ali Hospital in Iraq.

In the beginning, Mr Noori, who had come to Australia by himself, faced difficulties settling, including the language barrier, new system, culture and lifestyle, and with overseas qualification recognition processes. 

To work as a doctor in Australia, international medical graduates need to complete the AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency) registration requirement, by passing the Australian Medical Council (AMC) exams, as well as an English test.

On a friend’s recommendation, Mr Noori contacted SSI in October 2018 for help with his employment journey in Australia, starting with understanding the process of getting his qualification recognised.

Settlement Services International (SSI) ‘s Refugee Employment Support Program (RESP), an initiative of the NSW government, supported Mr Noori to complete the Australian Medical Council exams, occupational English test exam, and his AHPRA registration. 

Mr Noori said that SSI had done a great job in supporting him with navigating systems and processes.

“I would like to thank the SSI team, especially my case managers Sevan, Marlen, and Rahaf, for their guidance and help they provided. Great job.”

RESP also provided financial support and educational courses that helped him pass the exams. 

SSI also assisted Mr Noori to get a driver’s license through driving lessons and helped with workshops about finding jobs in Australia. This essential support was crucial and made a huge difference to Mr Noori’s journey.

After two years of hard study and struggle, Mr Noori secured a job as an Emergency Resident Medical Officer at Royal Hobart Hospital, is practising medicine again, and back on track saving lives.