Call to scrap rural bonded program because too many doctors never return

Students use the scheme to get into medical school rather than practise in the bush, GP Dr Hamish Meldrum tells Senate inquiry
Dr Hamish Meldrum.

Bonded medical programs should be scrapped in light of “overwhelming” evidence that medical students do not return to practise in the bush after they graduate, a federal Senate committee says.

The Community Affairs Reference Committee pointed to figures showing just 4.4% of bonded medical students — 597 out of 13,521 participants — have so far completed their return-of-service obligations since the various programs began twenty years ago.