As part of the 2015 Budget, the Commonwealth Government announced that the Bonded Medical Places (BMP) Scheme is expected to be enlarged from the 2016 academic year.
The Scheme provides a Commonwealth-supported place in an Australian medical school, for which recipients are required to fulfil a return of service obligation, by working as a medical practitioner in a District of Workforce Shortage or Modified Monash Model location 4-7 (see DoctorConnect for more information) after completing their fellowship.
The new BMP from 2016 is undergoing some significant changes in terms of the return of service obligation which will be expected of participants signing on to the Scheme from the 2016 academic year. The Department has received many requests for information about the new return of service obligation and we are now able to provide further information.
The following elements are expected to be features of the BMP return of service obligation for participants signing up from the 2016 academic year. (Participants who joined the Scheme in 2015 or earlier will continue to be governed by the conditions in their current agreement).
- The return of service obligation will be 12 months in duration
- The return of service obligation will need to be served in a District of Workforce Shortage or a Modified Monash Model location 4-7.
- The required 12 months return of service obligation can be completed between commencing internship and five years after fellowship is achieved.
- The return of service obligation can be worked in blocks of no less than 12 weeks.
- Given the wide time scale in which the return of service obligation can be served, deferral of the obligation will not be permitted, apart from where there are proven exceptional circumstances to the Departments satisfaction; in which case, conditions may be applied to your return of service obligation.
- Given the wide time scale and the relatively short obligation of 12 months, the obligation will need to be worked on a full-time basis, apart from where there are proven exceptional circumstances to the Departments satisfaction; in which case, conditions may be applied to your return of service obligation.
- Given the relatively short return of service obligation, no scaling will be available.
- The Department will place no restrictions on any other work being undertaken by the participant in any other location during the term of the contract.
- Participants who breach their agreement without sufficient reason will be liable to repay the Commonwealth contribution to their total degree (up to six years), even though the return of service obligation has been reduced to 12 months.
Further information on the BMP Scheme return of service obligation, including a sample return of service agreement, is expected to become available during the next few months. For further information, write to BMPScheme. The links below relate to the existing BMP Scheme and are maintained for the information of those who joined the Scheme in the years up to, and including, 2015.
This Scheme provides a Commonwealth-supported place in an Australian medical school, for which recipients are required to work in a district of workforce shortage for a period of time equal to the length of their medical degree (less any credit obtained through scaling) once they have qualified as a medical specialist or general practitioner. (Shortly, participants will also be permitted to work in towns with a population of 15,000 or less.)
Currently, over 5,800 individuals participate in the scheme, with over 700 being added each year. This number is expected to increase by 100 per year from 2016, as the 100 places which previously attached to the discontinued Medical Rural Bonded Scholarship Scheme transfer to the BMP Scheme.
For further information call the BMP hotline on 1800 987 104 or send an email to BMPScheme
Bonded Medical Places - Information booklet
Bonded Medical Places - frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Dr Connect - a quick reference to geographical information
Scaling - Questions and Answers
Bonded Medical Places - Sample Deed of agreement
Return of Service Obligation
Bonded Support Program
Recovery of Course-Funding Amount
Contact the Department
As stated in clause 3.7 of your Deed of Agreement, you must obtain written approval from the Department prior to commencing pre-vocational or vocational training for that training to be deemed eligible and count towards reducing your return of service obligation.
The Department is unable to backdate applications that are received after training has commenced.