As a result of ongoing AMA advocacy to implement reforms to the Bonded Medical Program (BMP), new legislation was passed in the Senate last week that will streamline the process for waiving breaches for Medical Rural Bonded Scholarship (MRBS) participants.
Once approved by the Governor-General, we hope this will allow the Department to opt in participants more quickly and to identify cohorts that can be opted in now so that they can move on with their careers i.e., those whose return of service is complete and can exit the program.
The AMA has also called for a review of all rural workforce programs, including the Bonded Medical Scheme, to determine whether they are meeting their program objectives as part of its submission into the Inquiry into provision of general practitioner and related primary health services to outer metropolitan, rural, and regional Australians.
The AMA has been working hard since March this year to ensure that doctors in the below cohorts are assured no-disadvantage because of the issues that arose during the early implementation of the statutory Bonded Medical Program (the Program) in 2020:
- those who thought they were opted in, had completed their obligations and had exited the Program;
- those who thought they had opted in and still need to complete their RoSO; and now also
- those who had expressed their interest to opt in via email and were awaiting a response.