The Bonded Medical Program was established in 2001 and is a critical component of the Government’s Stronger Rural Health Strategy to ensure that the Australian trained medical workforce is well-distributed, flexible and targeted to areas of most need.
The ‘Program’ provides students a commonwealth Supported Place at an Australian university in return for a commitment to work in eligible regional, rural and remote areas for a specified period once they have completed their medical degree, known as their Return of Service Obligation (RoSO).
Under this Program, there were two schemes: Bonded Medical Places (BMP) Scheme and Medical Rural Bonded Scholarship (MRBS) Scheme. These two schemes are now closed to new participants and a new program (the ‘Program’) is in place and anyone on the old program, providing they are not in breach of their current contract, can chose to opt in.
The new program aims to better support bonded participants to fulfill their return of service obligations by allowing a longer period of time to complete the RoSO.
Administration of the program has been simplified by moving from individual contract arrangements to a legislated program and an interactive web-based portal has been introduced to support bonded students and doctors to better understand and manage their bonded obligations.
This recording took place on 25 March 2020, hosted by Lauren Day (RWAV Future Workforce Program Officer) and Rural Health Clubs OUTLOOK (Melbourne University), WILDFIRE (Monash University) and NOMAD (Deakin University) to discuss the changes from the old to new scheme.