New arrangements for the Bonded Medical Program

The Government’s Bonded Programs aim to provide more Australian trained doctors where there are workforce shortages, particularly in rural and remote Australia.

Page last updated: 19 June 2019

The Bonded Medical Program was established in 2001. Under this program, there are two schemes; the Medical Rural Bonded Scholarship (MRBS) scheme and the Bonded Medical Places (BMP) scheme. From 1 January 2020, the new program will come into effect and from this date, existing participants will be able to choose to opt in to the new arrangements, should they wish to do so. From 1 January 2020, all new applicants to the Bonded Medical Program will enter under the new arrangements.

The Bonded Medical Program provides students a Commonwealth supported medical place at an Australian university in return for a commitment to work in regional, rural and remote areas for a specified period.

The Bonded Medical Program is a critical component of the Government’s Stronger Rural Health Strategy to ensure the Australian trained medical workforce is well-distributed, flexible and targeted to areas of most need. The Department of Health acknowledges the commitment made by Bonded Medical Program participants to regional, rural and remote Australia.

To support the new arrangements for the Bonded Medical Program, the Department of Health is building an innovative IT system, the Bonded Return of Service System (BRoSS).

The key highlights of the reforms are:

  • a consistent three year Return of Service Obligation (RoSO). BMP participants who have a 12 month RoSO will keep this under the new arrangements;
  • more options and flexibility so it is easier for participants to complete their RoSO;
  • replacement of the individual contract/deed of agreement with a statutory scheme;
  • a program specific online web portal (BRoSS) and mobile phone application to allow participants to self-manage their RoSO; and
  • support to all bonded participants through the Rural Workforce Agencies. 
For further information on the new arrangements, please see the fact sheets relevant to you:
I am a:Fact Sheet
New applicant looking for information on the Bonded Medical Program (commencing Medical School from 2020)
Current MRBS participant
Current BMP participant
Staff member of a participating university

Available fact sheets:

2020 – New Applicant Information (PDF 200 KB)
2020 – New Applicant Information (Word 149 KB)
What are the reforms (PDF 276 KB)
What are the reforms (Word 170 KB)
University Information (PDF 211 KB)
University Information (Word 154 KB)
Medical Rural Bonded Scholarship Scheme existing participants (PDF 269 KB)
Medical Rural Bonded Scholarship Scheme existing participants (Word 165 KB)
Bonded Medical Places Scheme existing participants (PDF 268 KB)
Bonded Medical Places Scheme existing participants (Word 170 KB)
Role of Rural Workforce Agencies (PDF 247 KB)
Role of Rural Workforce Agencies (Word 148 KB)
Bonded Return of Service System (PDF 241 KB)
Bonded Return of Service System (Word 148 KB)

More information regarding existing schemes can be found here:

Bonded Medical Places (BMP) Scheme
Medical Rural Bonded Scholarship (MRBS) Scheme

Contact details for further information:

Email: BRoSS@health.gov.au

Useful links:

DoctorConnect
Rural Workforce Agencies
Australian Medical Association
Australian Medical Students’ Association