If you’re interested in pursuing a career in medicine and already live or wouldn’t mind living in remote or regional areas around Australia, there’s good news.
The Federal Government has announced that from January 2022 new graduate Doctors and Nursing practitioners could be eligible to take part in a new scheme to have their university debts wiped out.
In addition to having your uni debts paid off (or hugely reduced) as a newly qualified Doctor or nurse you could also access training and experience in a wide range of health settings.
“I think it meets the needs of young doctors by giving them choice, but also by giving them the opportunity to reduce or eliminate this debt and expose them to a great training and career opportunity in a rural community. ”
– Peta Rutherford Director of Australian Rural Physicians Association
What does this mean for you?
If you’re in high school and considering studying medicine after Year 12, you may be concerned about the level of HELP debts you could accumulate during your studies.
The average HECS debt is around $100,000 to qualify as a Doctor.
Did your eyes nearly pop out of your head reading that? Mine sure did. It’s a significant amount of money and understandably could put some people off pursuing their career goals.
Taking part in this new scheme could mean:
- Up to $100,000 of your HECS debts could be paid off straight away
- You’ll receive training and work experience in General Practise (GP)
- Or, if you’re interested in a career specialising in other areas, you could also get training and experience in Rural Generalism which could include Anaesthetics, Paediatrics, Surgery and Obstetrics
- You could also be eligible for even more incentives, programs, and scholarships which could help you to reduce your debts even further, provide more opportunities, and potentially earn you a higher salary
- You’ll get the chance to make a real difference to the health outcomes of the 28% of Australians living in rural and remote regions
Ultimately, it means that you could get a head start on your career as you’ll be adding to your resume. It could also impact on your life. Without debts you could be free to make different lifestyle choices, from home ownership to holidays, sooner than you think.
What’s the catch?
Of course, there are certain conditions that come with this new scheme.
You’ll need to commit to working in a rural / remote areas, (which at the moment excludes areas like Townsville, Toowoomba and Bendigo).
If you choose a remote area to work in, you’ll need to work at least 24 hours a week for a period equivalent to half the duration of your degree.
If you’d rather work in areas classed as rural or regional, you’d be required to work at least 24 hours a week for a period equivalent to the duration of your whole degree.
But wait, there’s more
Here are some other resources to have a look at:
- Workforce Incentive Program
- Remote Area Nurses
- Bonded Medical Program
- Medical Rural Bonded Scholarship Scheme
You can also find out more about a career in Nursing or Medicine over at Study Work Grow, with specialty Guides and Handbooks available (they’ll be updated in 2022 so watch this space). They’ve been designed to help you assess all of your options and decide if a career in health could be the right one for you.