HELP for Rural Doctors and Nurse Practitioners

This initiative reduces outstanding Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) debt for eligible doctors and nurse practitioners who live and work in rural, remote or very remote areas of Australia.

About the initiative

The HELP for Rural Doctors and Nurse Practitioners initiative gives eligible doctors and nurses the opportunity to reduce their outstanding HELP debt if they meet:

For this initiative, areas classified as Modified Monash Model 3 to 7 count as rural, remote or very remote.

Eligibility starts from 1 January 2022. If you are eligible for this initiative:

  • your outstanding HELP debt will be updated each year through the taxation system
  • an indexation waiver will apply to your outstanding HELP debt for the period you live and complete eligible work in an MM 3 to 7 area.

Amendments to the Higher Education Support Act 2003

On 10 November 2022, the Government introduced the Higher Education Support Amendment (2022 Measures No.1) Bill 2022 (the Bill) into the Australian parliament. The Bill amends the Higher Education Support Act 2003.

The legislative amendments allow for the establishment of the new program. The changes also allow for the development of secondary legislation in the form of the HELP Debtor Guidelines for Health Practitioners. These guidelines will outline the:

  • detailed eligibility requirements
  • arrangements for the administration of the program
  • obligations for participants to access the benefits of the program.

We have updated the program fact sheet and frequently asked questions.   

We will provide further updates on the progress and future passage of the amendments as appropriate.


The initiative aims to increase the number of doctors and nurse practitioners living and working in rural Australia.

Eligibility criteria

See our fact sheet for details of the specific eligibility criteria that apply for doctors and nurse practitioners.


To have your outstanding HELP debt eliminated, you must live and complete eligible work in a rural, remote or very remote location for the required amount of time.

The required amount of time varies depending on how remote the location is and how many years your degree took.

See our fact sheet for details on how long you would need to work to qualify for partial or full elimination of outstanding HELP debt.

Learn more

See our fact sheet for details of eligibility requirements, obligations, answers to frequently asked questions, and case studies.

Read the fact sheet

Health Workforce Locator

Use the Health Workforce Locator to find the Modified Monash Model classification for any location in Australia.

Check your location

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