Minister confirms no disadvantage for BMP participants
The Minister for Health responded swiftly to AMA correspondence on 1 April 2021 to confirm that participants who had opted-in to the new statutory bonded medical program but weren’t legally ‘bonded’ under the new program, including those that thought they had completed their obligations and exited the program, should continue working as they are now, without fear of breach of contract. He 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 AMA wrote directly to Minister Hunt on 1 April 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 DoH.
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.
You can read more about the outcomes from the Implementation Reform Working Group meeting on 30 March 2021, attended by the AMA and DOH, in the attached document.
Read previous updates and AMA advocacy on this issue here