More Doctors for Rural Australia Program
The More Doctors for Rural Australia Program (MDRAP) is a new 3GA program that enables doctors who are non-vocationally registered to work in rural regions and access Medicare.
The program is part of the Stronger Rural Health Strategy. MDRAP commenced on 29 April 2019 and is administered by the Rural Workforce Agencies in each state and the Northern Territory.
New South Wales Rural Doctors Network (RDN) administers the program in the state of New South Wales.
The program is open to Australian citizens and residents, and International Medical Graduates (IMGs) – including permanent and temporary residents – who meet the guidelines for the program.
You can view the MDRAP Applicant Guidelines here.
The MDRAP Support Package
The MDRAP Support Package (The Package) has been introduced into the MDRAP Guidelines from 1 March 2021. The Package aims to enhance the implementation of MDRAP by providing funds to support supervision and education for MDRAP doctors. There are 2 components of the Package:
1. Support and Supervision Funds
2. Learning and Development Funds
Download an information sheet about the MDRAP Support Package.
There is no requirement for doctors on existing programs, including the Rural Locum Relief Program (RLRP), to move to MDRAP and they may continue on their respective programs until the end of the placement. Any existing placements on OMPs programs will continue until 30 June 2023. The OMPs programs have now closed to new applicants.
More information about eligibility and FAQs
The MDRAP is open to doctors who are Australian citizens, permanent residents and temporary residents. Eligible applicants for the MDRAP fall into the following categories:
1. Doctors with prior general practice experience
2. Doctors without prior general practice experience
3. Doctors providing locum services (some requirements will be based on prior general practice experience)
4. Junior doctors gaining exposure to general practice.
To be eligible for MDRAP doctors must:
- hold current registration with the Medical Board of Australia
- have an offer of employment and have the necessary skills and experience to perform the role
- provide evidence of appropriate support in place to meet supervision requirements if applicable
- take active steps to join a college pathway within the defined period and
- undertake general practice professional development activities.
A doctor’s previous 3GA placement history will be considered when assessing MDRAP applications.
An MDRAP placement is for two years. Doctors can seek extensions for a period up to four years total in extenuating circumstances, which will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
Eligible locations for an MDRAP placement are:
- in a Distribution of Priority Areas (DPA); and
- in an area classified as Modified Monash Model (MMM) 2–7.
Doctors who work at a practice classified as an Aboriginal Medical Service or that hold an exemption under s19 (2) or s19 (5) of the Health Insurance Act 1973 are also eligible for a MDRAP placement.
As part of the Stronger Rural Health Strategy announced in the 2018-19 Budget, the Government reformed the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) item fee arrangements for non-vocationally recognised general practitioners (non-VR GPs). Doctors on the MDRAP in MM 2-7 locations are able to access items from Group A7 of the Medicare Benefits Schedule, follow the link to find out more.
The MDRAP supports doctors working towards joining a college Fellowship Program. Doctors participating in the MDRAP must make a minimum of one application to a Fellowship Program each year to remain on the program.
Doctors who participate in the MDRAP must complete foundation general practice training modules provided by either the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners or the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine within six months of commencing on the MDRAP.
Doctors who participate in the MDRAP for a year must ensure at least half of the annual professional development required by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHRPA) is relevant to general practice.
The MDRAP provides a supervision framework for doctors who have less than six months general practice experience. The supervision requirements vary depending on the category of the doctor. Information about supervision is available in the MDRAP Applicant Guidelines. AHPRA supervision requirements linked to your registration are not replaced by the MDRAP supervision framework.