Rural conscription no answer to shortage

The Australian Medical Students’ Association (AMSA) hit out at suggestions in the media that all newly graduated doctors could be involuntarily bonded to work in rural areas for a number of years following graduation.

AMSA vice president Catherine Pendrey said the association was concerned the shortage of doctors was affecting the ability of people in rural and remote areas to access health services but conscripting students was not the solution.

“AMSA is strongly opposed to the current Bonded Medical Places Scheme [BMPS] which mandates 25% of commonwealth supported place students to work in designated rural, remote and outer metropolitan areas following graduation,” she said.

“In the past, many students recruited under the BMPS have either bought their way out of the scheme or left rural areas once they had completed their return-of-service obligations,” Ms Pendrey said.

The association’s stance