WA's peak medical group has condemned a move that could stop hundreds of retired Australian doctors from writing repeats for scripts or referring patients to specialists.
From next month, doctors who have been able to register for "public interest occasional practice" will have to move to general registration if they want to practise in any way.
They will also have to do continuing medical education and take out medical indemnity.
Australian Medical Association WA president Richard Choong said the move, part of changes to doctors' annual registration, was short-sighted.
It meant highly experienced doctors were being stripped of their ability to practice in what was a limited setting, and their mentoring role would be lost.
Under the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme which began three years ago, more than 1000 older doctors were able to continue with limited registration but they could only renew it three times.
The Medical Board of Australia estimates 600 doctors have had their final renewal and their registration is due to expire on September 30.
It maintains the change is to improve patient safety and ensure every doctor who sees a patient meets minimum standards.
One Perth doctor aged in his 70s who has practised for 45 years said he would allow his registration to lapse because he was not interested in returning to general registration."The fact that it is done without remuneration is self-disciplining because you're not going to try to see a lot of patients to make money," he said. "I understand that you don't want doddery old fools still practising, but we're talking about a basic service they are quite capable of providing."