PDF version BMP Scheme Letter offering MMM (PDF 675 KB)
Dear BMP Scheme participant
Changes to the Return of Service Obligation for Bonded Medical Places (BMP) Scheme participants
As you may be aware, the Assistant Minister for Health, Senator the Hon Fiona Nash, announced on 31 October 2014 that changes were to be made to health workforce rural classification systems. A new classification system, known as the Modified Monash Model (MMM), has now been implemented and BMP Scheme participants are set to benefit.
The new system
The MMM is derived from research by the Monash University as to how locations relate to key GP workforce indicators. That research showed that the remoteness and population size of a town provides a reliable, accurate measure to determine how attractive it would be for a medical practitioner to want to work and live in that area.
The MMM is based on the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) Australian Statistical Geography Standard – Remoteness Areas, with locations in Inner and Outer Regional Australia being further classified by the local town size.
Further information about the MMM is available on the DoctorConnect website at www.doctorconnect.gov.au.
More locations for BMP Scheme participants
Minister Nash has announced that BMP Scheme participants will be allowed to fulfil their return of service obligations in locations classified as MMM 4-7 in addition to the existing District of Workforce Shortage (DWS) locations.
Most Australian towns with a population of 15,000 or less will now be eligible locations in which BMP Scheme participants will be able to fulfil their return of service obligations. However, some locations with a population of 15,000 or less may not automatically be eligible if they are, for example, very close to a major city or defined within a much larger urban region.
Participants can check the eligibility of locations using the Department’s locator map available on the Department’s website.
Your agreement with the Commonwealth
There is no need for a formal variation to your BMP Scheme Deed of Agreement if you would like to fulfil your return of service obligation in an MMM 4-7 area. Rather, this email communication serves as an official offer to you to be able to count work in one of the newly-eligible locations classified as MMM 4-7 towards fulfilment of your return of service obligations.
The option to work in an MMM 4-7 area applies only to your return of service obligation. That is, the period of time you work as a doctor after you have obtained your fellowship. It does not apply to any periods of pre-vocational or vocational training. Training periods can still be counted towards your return of service obligation in line with the current conditions of your agreement (providing that you have signed the relevant Deed of Variation).
Scaling discounts will continue to be assessed under the ASGC-RA classification structure.
The ability to count work in an MMM 4-7 location is not retrospective but can be applied from the date of this letter.
What you need to do
You do not need to respond to this email until you decide to commence your return of service obligation in an MMM 4-7 location. At that time you should:
- check, by visiting a health workforce website, such as Doctor Connect, whether your proposed location is classified as an MMM 4-7 location. Remember, some towns with fewer than 15,000 people may not automatically be included in the classifications MMM 4-7, so you will need to check; and
- if your location is eligible, reply to this email with a request to count your return of service obligation in your eligible location. Your reply will constitute a legal acceptance of our offer to you to count work in a MMM 4-7 towards fulfilment of your return of service obligation. (Please remember to include all the relevant details of your proposed work, such as employer name and address, nature of the work, intended hours of work, etc.)
You will receive confirmation of your location's eligibility and that it will count towards fulfilment of your return of service obligation by email.
If you have any questions about this email, please email BMPScheme@health.gov.au.
A/g Assistant Secretary
Access and Incentives Branch
Health Workforce Division
4 June 2015