The annual updates of the Distribution Priority Areas (DPA) and the Districts of Workforce Shortage (DWS) for specialists
are available from 1 July 2020.
To view these updates, please select the DPA or DWS Classification Filters, and enter an address into the DoctorConnect
HEALTH WORKFORCE LOCATOR.
To support the new arrangement, the Bonded Return of Service System (BRoSS) is available for opt in
Current participants of the Medical Rural Bonded Scholarship (MRBS) and Bonded Medical Places (BMP) schemes who are opting in to the Bonded Medical Program new arrangement (Program) can agree to participate through BRoSS and download a signed date-stamped version of their agreement.
There will be a transition period where your obligations to provide information and upload evidence will be delayed until BRoSS is fully functional. Functions of BRoSS will be released throughout 2020.
Existing students and doctors can request to opt in by emailing [email protected]
- all new applicants to the Program will enter under the new arrangement
- existing participants can request to opt in to the Program by emailing [email protected]
The Program provides students a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) in a medical course at an Australian university in return for a commitment to work in eligible regional, rural and remote areas for a specified period after completion of their medical course. This commitment is referred to as a Return of Service Obligation (RoSO).
The Program 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 Department acknowledges the commitment made by Bonded Medical Program participants to regional, rural and remote Australia.
Information and useful resourcesThere are a variety of fact sheets, frequently asked questions and links to resource material available on the Bonded Medical Program New Arrangement Resource page.
Key features of the Bonded Medical Program new arrangementThe key features of the Program are:
- a standard three (3) year Return of Service Obligation (RoSO) to be completed over an eighteen (18) year period. Participants of the BMP scheme 2016-2019 cohort who have a twelve (12) month RoSO will keep this under the new arrangement
- replacement of the individual contract/deed of agreement with a statutory scheme
- a Program specific web portal, the Bonded Return of Service System (BRoSS) to provide self-service management of RoSO
- a wide range of options as to when, where and how you choose to complete your RoSO within the Program’s required timeframe and requirements. 18 months can be completed pre-fellowship and 18 months completed post fellowship. RoSO can be non-continuous, full or part-time work, and fly in/ fly out work in eligible locations may be counted towards RoSO
- more choice and more locations with participants able to complete their RoSO in Modified Monash Model (MMM) 2-7 locations, and in Distribution Priority Areas (DPA) for General Practitioners or District of Workforce Shortage (DWS) for Specialists for their medical speciality
- no restrictions on the work you undertake. Participants can choose to work in areas which do not count towards RoSO during the 18 year period whilst they undertake their RoSO
LegislationParticipants of the Program are bounded by Part VD of the Health Insurance Act 1973 (Act) and must abide by the Health Insurance (Bonded Medical Program) Rule 2020 (Rule).
The Act received royal assent on 19 September 2019 following its passage in the Senate on 4 July 2019 and the House of Representatives on 11 September 2019.
The Rule provides more detail to assist participants to make an informed decision to opt in to the Program. It was signed by Minister Hunt on 20 November 2019.
While BRoSS is being progressively released throughout 2020, the Department is finalising an amendment to the participant’s reporting obligations as specified in the Health Insurance (Bonded Medical Program) Rule 2020.
The timelines set by the Health Insurance (Bonded Medical Program) Rule 2020 (Cth) that require the participant to provide information and evidence under sections 15 and 16 will be delayed until a future date nominated by the Department.
The Department has implemented a transition period where the participant’s obligations to provide information and upload evidence will be delayed until BRoSS is fully functional. The Rule has been amended to formally establish this transition period, which means current participants of the Medical Rural Bonded Scholarship (MRBS) and Bonded Medical Places (BMP) schemes who are opting in to the Program cannot be liable for any administrative penalty arising out of not complying with time frames set out in the Rule. The amendment, Health Insurance (Bonded Medical Program) Amendment Rule 2020, is available at the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments for your information.
The Department will advise the participants when BRoSS is fully functional and will nominate a date from which all the time frames for providing information and evidence will commence.
Should the participants wish to keep their Program reporting obligations up to date, please email to [email protected]
Bonded Return of Service System (BRoSS)The Bonded Return of Service System (BRoSS), the department's web portal, is being developed to support the Program. BRoSS will allow bonded students and doctors to self-manage their RoSO and identify eligible locations where they can work.
Functions of BroSS will be released throughout 2020. The first phase, commenced 1 January 2020, was made available to 21 Australian universities where they can use BRoSS to manage their new applicants firm offer list.
The second phase will provide the ability for existing participants to opt in to the new arrangement through BRoSS and agree to participate in the Program by completing Part VD of the Health Insurance Act 1973 (Act) in the Sign section.
Self-management of RoSO including planning and recording of events are currently in development and will be released progressively.