MDRAP transition to the Pre-fellowship program in 2023-24
In the 2023-24 Budget the Australian Government decided to replace the More Doctors for Rural Australia Program (MDRAP) with a Pre-Fellowship Program (PFP).
The PFP will also support doctors working in areas of service access need who are seeking to move into fellowship training. Transition to the two-year trial of the PFP will take several months to put in place.
Doctors seeking to work under MDRAP arrangements should contact their Rural Workforce Agency for information on participating.
We will provide more information on the PFP in coming months.
About the program
The More Doctors for Rural Australia Program (MDRAP) allows doctors with placements working in rural areas to access Medicare items from group A7 of the Medicare Benefits Schedule.
As a 3GA approved workforce program, doctors on this program satisfy section 19AA of the Health Insurance Act 1973.
For more detailed information refer to the MDRAP guidelines.
Why it is important
Doctors who are Australian residents must become vocationally recognised. This ensures the quality of our health care system.
Doctors on this program get support and training towards joining a college fellowship program to become vocationally recognised.
The program's goals are to:
- increase the number of vocationally recognised doctors
- improve access to health care for Australians living in rural and regional areas under the Stronger Rural Health Strategy.
Meeting our goals
If you participate in this program, you must show you are working towards fellowship. You must:
- apply to a college-led fellowship program that enables you to move to a program by the end of your MDRAP participation. The fellowship programs are:
- complete foundation general practice training modules within 6 months of commencing the program. The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) determine the training modules
- ensure at least half of your annual professional development is relevant to general practice. The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency requires you to complete annual professional development.
If you have less than 6 months general practice experience, you will be supervised. Read more about supervision requirements in the MDRAP guidelines.
You must also work in an area that is classified as:
Search the Health Workforce Locator to find eligible locations.
Who we work with
Rural Workforce Agencies administer the MDRAP on our behalf. Rural Workforce Agencies operate in each state and the Northern Territory.
To be eligible for the program, you must:
- hold a current registration with the Medical Board of Australia
- have an offer of employment
- have the necessary skills and experience to perform the role
- be a temporary or permanent resident
We will consider your previous 3GA placement history when assessing applications.
You are also eligible for a placement if you:
- work at a Aboriginal Medical Service
- hold an exemption under s19(2) or s19(5) of the Health Insurance Act 1973
If you are on an Other Medical Practitioner Program, you can continue at your existing location or apply for access at a MDRAP location, if eligible.
Doctors on other existing medical programs are not required to move to the MDRAP.
To apply for the MDRAP, contact the Rural Workforce Agency in your state.
An initial placement is for 2 years. In some circumstances, you can seek an extension up to 4 years total.
MDRAP is currently open for applications.
Contact the Rural Workforce Agency in your state for more information on the More Doctors for Rural Australia Program.