AMA secures certainty for bonded medical program participants

8 Apr 2021

The AMA has acted swiftly on behalf of all medical professionals affected by changes to bonded medical programs and scholarships.

The AMA wrote directly to Health Minister Greg Hunt, asking for him to provide an immediate undertaking that no bonded medical program participant will be penalised or placed in a worse situation because of being incorrectly opted-in to the new program by the Department of Health. 

The Minister responded swiftly, confirming that participants who had opted-in to the new statutory bonded medical program but weren’t legally ‘bonded’ under the new program, including those who thought they had completed their obligations and exited the program, should continue working as they are now, without fear of breach of contract. 

Minister Hunt said:  “We will take a no disadvantage approach to each of these participants, including for the recognition of any Return of Service Obligation. Where a doctor is concerned about their provider number status they should contact the department so a solution can be found.”  

The DoH has undertaken to work closely with participants to understand their personal circumstances, including any actions that they have taken, to determine how best to address any issues arising during the early implementation of the statutory Program. All participants are encouraged to contact the Department directly via BRoSS@health.gov.au if they have further queries.  

This information and an update on the Key Messages from the Department of Health and AMA following the  BMP Implementation Reform Group Meeting held on 30 March 2021 can be found here.