AMA submission on the Health Workforce Scholarship Program Consultation
In September 2015, the AMA made a submission to the Department of Health on its Health Workforce Scholarship Program Consultation Document. The AMA submission recommends that the option of a one year return or service obligation (ROS) should be offered to all Bonded Medical Place (BMP) students and graduates to encourage participants to complete their ROS in a regional or rural area. This is supported by evidence from the Rural Clinical Training and Support (RCTS) program which indicates that students are more prepared to complete their ROS service if it is shorter as opposed to buying out their obligations.
The submission also calls on the Government to reconsider its position on the Bonded Support Program (BSP). Evidence shows that access to well-supported places is essential to increase the positivity of the training experience and retain doctors in training in regional and rural areas. It is essential that something similar to the BSP is reinstated to support BMP students and graduates, and should include consideration of a mentoring program. The AMA believes a support program should also be extended to all scholarships.