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Bonded Medical Program

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The Bonded Medical Program was established in 2001 and is a critical component of the Australian Government’s Stronger Rural Health Strategy to ensure that the Australian trained medical workforce is well-distributed, flexible and targeted to areas of most need.

The Program provides students with a Commonwealth Supported Place at an Australian university. In exchange for the place, bonded participants agree to work in an eligible regional, rural and remote area for a specified period once they have completed their medical degree. This work isknown as their Return of Service Obligation (RoSO).

Under the Bonded Medical Program, there are two schemes: the Bonded Medical Places (BMP) Scheme and the Medical Rural Bonded Scholarship (MRBS) Scheme. From 1 January 2020, these two schemes were closed to new participants and a new reformed Bonded Medical Program (the ‘Program’) arrangement came into effect. The Department of Health has refreshed the Program to provide greater support for bonded students and doctors.


Key points about the Bonded Medical Program

  • Current participants of bonded programs will be able to choose whether they move across to the new arrangements or not.
  • Participants who choose not to move to the new arrangements will keep their current contract arrangements.
  • All new applicants to the Program will enter under the new arrangement.
  • Administration of the program has been simplified by moving from individual contract arrangements to a legislated program.
  • Greater flexibility and a wide range of options for participants on how their RoSO is completed within the Program’s required timeframe and stipulations.
  • Interactive web-based portal and mobile phone application known as the Bonded Return of Service System (BRoSS) has been introduced, allowing scholars to better understand and self-manage their obligations.
  • Support to all bonded participants are through the Rural Workforce Agencies.

Learn more on the Department of Health’s website, including the following factsheets:

  • What are the reforms?
  • New Applicant Information
  • Bonded Return of Service System
  • Role of Rural Workforce Agencies


Bonded students

NSW Rural Doctors Network is committed to supporting and providing tailored services to bonded students including:

  • updates to Department of Health reforms
  • providing resources and advice on the reformed Bonded Medical Program
  • opportunities to experience living and working in a rural area, including hands-on clinical workshops and social events
  • career planning advice for students with a return of service commitment with the Department
  • connecting Bonded Program participants to vacancies that will meet their contractual requirements at the end of their training


> Find out more

Our Future Workforce Team is ready to provide support and services for you. Please contact  02 8337 8100 or  bondedsupport@nswrdn.com.au


Bonded Doctor

Bonded doctors play an essential and valued role in helping remote and rural communities access health care services. NSW Rural Doctors Network’s (RDN) support for bonded doctors who have a return of service obligation in rural NSW includes:

  • providing doctors with updates to Department of Health reforms
  • providing resources and advice on the reformed Bonded Medical Program
  • working to assess a doctor’s individual needs and identifying strategies to support transition to general practice in rural NSW
  • access to the largest database of current GP and GP locum vacancies in NSW
  • introducing doctors to the practice that best suits their professional and personal needs
  • access to grants for site visits, relocation, Continuing Professional Development and RDN annual conferences for eligible doctors
  • a welcome kit when commencing a new role, to connect doctors with information, services and networks
  • access to  the Australian Government’s Health Workforce Scholarship Program to apply for funding to upskill.


> Find out more

Our Recruitment Team is ready to provide tailored recruitment assistance, guidance and support for you. Please contact 02 4924 8000 or recruit@nswrdn.com.au




Future Workforce Factsheet

RDN Support for Bonded Students and Doctors

Bonded Medical Program Student Information Booklet

Bonded Medical Program Participation Information - for those in the workforce

Department of Health website