'Harder than it sounds': Doctors back out of rural contract obligations

'Some people find that they can't cope'

Some 100 doctors who signed up to work in the bush in return for university scholarships have backed out of their contracts, new figures reveal.

rural clinic

The Medical Rural Bonded Scholarship has been awarded to 1,515 medical students since launching in 2001.

Under the scheme, students received over $26,000 annually in return for a pledge to work in rural and remote areas for six years upon completing specialist training.

The scheme was shut to new entrants in 2015 amid accusations it was "draconian" and locked young people into long-term commitments they didn't fully

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