Reformed Bonded Programs

The Government’s Bonded Programs aim to provide more Australian trained doctors where there are workforce shortages, particularly in rural and remote Australia.

Page last updated: 11 September 2018

Bonded Programs are made up of two schemes - the Bonded Medical Places (BMP) Scheme and the Medical Rural Bonded Scholarship (MRBS) Scheme.

The Government is building a more flexible system that will enable the BMP Scheme and the MRBS Scheme to encourage and support more doctors to work and stay in rural and remote areas.

All Australians living and working in regional, rural and remote areas will benefit from increased access to vocationally recognised Australian trained doctors.

The new arrangements will commence from 1 January 2020. All existing bonded medical students and bonded doctors will be able to move across to the reformed arrangements from this date onwards.

From 1 January 2020, new medical school students entering the BMP Scheme will enter under the new arrangements.

The reformed arrangements will:

  • significantly improve bonded arrangements by moving from individual contract arrangements to a legislated regulatory model
  • better support bonded participant to fulfil their return of service obligations
  • allow participants in existing programs to opt-in to these new arrangements
      • provide a consistent three year bonded period for opt-in participants
      • fund an interactive web portal and other digital communication channels to help bonded students and doctors to better understand and manage their bonded obligations.

Additional information about reforms is provided for your information at:

Strengthening bonded programs budget factsheet
Reformed bonded programs addressing doctor shortages across rural and remote areas by enhancing bonded programs

More formation can be found at:

Bonded Medical Places (BMP) Scheme
Medical Rural Bonded Scholarship (MRBS) Scheme