Last year our newsletters focused primarily on providing information about progress towards resolving cases for individuals affected by implementation issues (i.e. those awaiting a response to their request to opt-in to the Bonded Medical Program). The newsletters also sought to provide participants of the Bonded Medical Program (the Program) with important information about their reporting obligations.
Having resolved these issues, we are now administering the program as it was intended. These newsletters will now focus on issues relevant to administration of the Program moving forward.
Information sessions for students who recently joined the Program
The department has completed a nation-wide series of face-to-face Bonded Medical Program – Student information and consultation sessions across each of the twenty participating Australian universities.
The sessions have been very well received with high numbers of students attending in person and those unable to attend in person joined us virtually.
Students were actively engaged with the presentation and took the opportunity to ask important questions about the Program.
The sessions were targeted at medical students who have received a firm offer of a bonded Commonwealth Supported Place for the 2023 academic year as well as bonded students from earlier academic cohorts.
Departmental staff provided a detailed overview of the Program, including:
- Applications/Opting-in – becoming a bonded participant
- Obligations – requirements to complete a return of service obligation (RoSO)
- Compliance – Participant reporting responsibilities
- Support – From their university, RWA and from the department.
The department recorded the Bonded Medical Program – Information webinar for Bonded Medical Program students . We have provided a separate link for those wishing to go directly to the Frequently Asked Questions. These cover the most frequently asked questions and answers from across the information sessions.
Bonded Medical Program amendments to legislation (Health Insurance Amendment (Prescribed Dental Patient and Other Measures) Bill 2023
Earlier this year, the Australian Government introduced a Bill to further enhance the administration of the Program. The Health Legislation Amendment (Prescribed Dental Patients and Other Measures) Bill 2023 was passed by the House of Representatives on 28 March 2023 and awaits consideration by the Senate – Currently listed on the notice paper for the Winter 2023 sitting (i.e. from 13 June 2023).
For the benefit of bonded participants, the amendments will rectify inconsistencies between the Act and the Health Insurance (Bonded Medical Program) Rule 2020 (the Rule) simplifying the length of a bonded participant’s return of service obligation (RoSO) to be in a period of weeks.
The amendments will also clarify how RoSO will be calculated (and support automatic calculation in the Bonded Return of Service System) and ensure the administrative penalty – for failure to comply with certain reporting obligations – will be applied fairly.
Following passage of the Bill, consequential amendments to the Rule will be developed and updates made to the information materials on the Department’s website.
Further information on the amendments and the consequential amendments to the Rule will be included in future newsletters.
We have received feedback from participants regarding issues some participants are having using BRoSS. To assist you, we are currently in the process of developing a new website which answers your commonly raised questions and issues and will include short instructional videos.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding BRoSS please contact us at:
1800 987 104 (Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5:00pm AEST)
or via email at BondedMedicalProgram@health.gov.au