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Doctors’ rural time cut

THE amount of time a young doctor must spend in regional areas with a medical workforce shortage has been cut under Federal Budget changes.

Although the change was announced in the May budget, the details were not revealed until a Senate estimates hearing on Wednesday.

Under the budget measures, the Medical Rural Bonded Scholarship Scheme was abolished and brought under a similar program, the Bonded Medical Places Scheme.

The former scheme helped fund scholarships for young doctors provided they worked in an area with a health workforce shortage for four to six years once they graduated.

Health department officials said under the Bonded Medical Places Scheme, the requirement to spend time in such regions would be cut down to just one year.


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