Bonded Medical Program Newsletter – September 2022

Date published:

September 13, 2022

Targeted audience:

Health sector

The bonded medical program is a key part of the enhanced rural health strategy to ensure Australia’s trained medical workforce is well distributed and targeted to areas of labor shortage.

By fulfilling their Return of Service Obligation (RoSO), bonded participants ensure more equitable access to healthcare services and make a valuable contribution to the health of Australians living in regional, rural and remote communities.

This newsletter is intended for bonded participants of the Statutory Bonded Medical Program (the Program) and covers important information about reporting obligations, related compliance issues, and progress toward resolving cases for affected individuals. Although it does not specifically apply to participants of the Medical Rural Bonded Scholarship Scheme or the Bonded Medical Places Scheme (known as “legacy schemes”), the information in this newsletter is useful for any participant of the legacy program who is considering participating in the program. statutory endorsed medical program.

Reporting Obligations of Bonded Medical Program Participants

The Return of Bonded Service System (BRoSS) is the ministry’s online system that helps bonded program participants plan, monitor and manage their obligations. Bonded participants are responsible for ensuring that their BRoSS file is up-to-date and contains information and evidence relevant to their participation in the program.

As previously reported in Program Updates and Bulletins, Section 19 of the Rule set out a “transitional provision” with respect to reporting obligations.

On June 30, 2022, the Department posted a “notice” on its website advising you that the elements of BRoSS required for you, as a bonded participant, to comply with the relevant provisions are now functional. This ended the transitional provision and bonded participants must now comply with their reporting obligations.

Bonded Medical Program Participants – Important Information About Your RoSO Plan Obligations

Bonded participants who have opted into a legacy plan must have registered a RoSO plan within 3 months* of becoming a bonded participant.

*Persons who became a bonded participant on or before June 30, 2022 have until September 30, 2022 to register their RoSO plan [and to confirm any eligible work completed on or up to 30 June 2022 was completed in accordance with that RoSO Plan].

Individuals who became a bonded participant on or after July 1, 2022 have 3 months from the date they became a bonded participant to register their RoSO plan. Thereafter, all qualifying work must be confirmed within 3 months of the date it was completed.

As per the rule, your work will only be eligible for RoSO if the work is eligible, the details have been recorded in your RoSO plan and confirmed as completed in accordance with the RoSO plan – see sections 16(1) – (3) of Rule.

In accordance with Section 8, any work undertaken that does not meet these requirements shall not count towards the return of service obligation.

In addition, bonded participants who fail to meet their reporting obligations within the applicable time limits will be subject to an administrative penalty of $1,000 on each occasion.

Webinar on Reporting Obligations and Compliance for Bonded Medical Program Participants

On Wednesday, September 7, 2022, the department hosted a webinar on reporting obligations and compliance for bonded participants in the bonded medical program. The webinar covered important information related to program participation, including:

  • Reporting obligations and compliance
  • The transitional provision that ended on June 30, 2022 and what it means for enslaved participants
  • Important information about RoSO plans
  • Consequences of non-compliance and administrative sanctions
  • Support from rural labor agencies
  • Where to find information on program reporting obligations
  • Other program resources

Over 370 bonded attendees have registered for the webinar. Attendees were able to enjoy the live question and answer forum. The department recorded the webinar and we encourage all bonded attendees to view it.

The department also recorded a live video demonstration of the BRoSS webinar to help bonded participants self-manage their participation in the program. The BRoSS webinar also provides frequently asked questions and answers.

Progress towards resolving cases for affected individuals

The department assigned 100% of cases and finalized 71% of all cases, as follows:

  • People who thought they were bonded, had fulfilled their obligations and left the Program [Opt‑in and exit] – We have now finalized 169 of the 176 cases. The remaining 7 cases sit with the participant pending his decision.
  • People who thought they were related and have yet to complete their RoSO [Opt‑in and stay] – We are currently working on cases. We have finalized 437 of the 546 participants concerned. The majority of the remaining cases are with the participant awaiting action.
  • People who have expressed interest in participating and are awaiting a response [Waiting to opt-in] – this is the largest cohort of cases. We have finalized 924 of the 1437 participants concerned. Again, the majority of the remaining cases are with the participant awaiting action.

If you are a Medical Rural Bonded Scholarship Scheme or Bonded Medical Places Scheme participant who has started the process with the department to enroll in the Bonded Medical Program, there may be an email in your inbox awaiting stock. Please check your emails and respond to the department to help you complete your registration process.
If you have changed your email, phone number or mailing address and have not notified the service, please do so as soon as possible.

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