IMPORTANT UPDATE: In 2023-24, the More Doctors for Rural Australia Program (MDRAP) will be changed to the Pre-Fellowship Program (PFP). Further details about PFP will be released soon, but it will also support doctors working in areas of service access need and who are seeking to move into fellowship training according to the Department of Health and Aged Care.
What is MDRAP?
The More Doctors for Rural Australia Program (MDRAP) is a 3GA program which enables doctors who are non-vocationally registered to work in rural regions and access Medicare.
Whilst it is a 3GA program, it is not a Fellowship Training Program which means you will need to join an approved training program before being eligible to sit for the Fellowship Exams.
Am I Eligible for MDRAP?
To be eligible for the program, you must:
- hold a current registration with the Medical Board of Australia
- have an offer of employment
- have the necessary skills and experience to perform the role
- be a temporary or permanent resident
Where can I practice?
In order to be eligible for MDRAP you will need a job offer that is:
- In a Distribution Priority Area (DPA); and
- In an area classified as Modified Monash Model (MMM) 2–7.
Doctors who work at a practice classified as an Aboriginal Medical Service or that hold an exemption are also eligible for an MDRAP placement.
What can I claim?
Doctors on MDRAP will be able to access items from group A7 of the Medicare Benefits Schedule. These items are set at 80% of the equivalent general practice items.
How long can I be on the MDRAP?
An initial MDRAP placement is for two years. Doctors can seek extensions for a period of up to four years total in some circumstances.
What will I have to do?
The MDRAP supports doctors working towards joining a college Fellowship Program; Doctors participating in MDRAP must make a minimum of one application to a Fellowship Program each year.
Doctors who participate in MDRAP must complete the foundation general practice training modules provided by either the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners or the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine within 6 months of commencing on MDRAP.
Doctors who participate in MDRAP for a year must ensure at least half of the annual professional development required by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) is relevant to general practice.
Will I have to be supervised?
MDRAP provides a supervision framework for Doctors who have less than six months general practice experience. The supervision requirements vary depending on the category of the doctor.
- Doctors without or with less than 6 months prior general practice experience should:
- Work at least 1 month full time under level one supervision, as decided by the Rural Workforce Agencies’ (RWAs) MDRAP Delegate
- If applicable, as an AHPRA recency of practice registration standard, submit a completed “Plan for professional development and re-entry to practice”
After a month, the supervision levels and progression will be reviewed by the supervisor and RWA after a month.
- Junior Doctors or Doctors in Postgraduate Year (PGY) 3-5 should:
- Work at least 1 month full time under level one supervision
- Check with the supervisor if the doctor is competent, and work under level two supervision for at least 5 months
After 6 months, the supervision level of the incoming 12 months will be reviewed by the supervisor.
- Doctors with prior general practice experience
- Their general practice experience will be evaluated according to the duties and location of the work
- For doctors with more than 6 months prior general practice experience, they might not need to acquire the specific MDRAP supervision requirements
- Doctors should maintain their medical registration and meet the conditions specified by AHPRA
For more information about supervision, you may refer to the MDRAP Guidelines.
How do I apply?
You will need to apply to the Rural Workforce Agency of the state your job offer is in. For example, if your job offer is in Victoria, you will need to apply to the Rural Workforce Agency Victoria.
Each state has different application processes and eligibility criteria.
More Doctors for Rural Australia Program (MDRAP) Incentives
If you are one of the doctors participating in the program, the MDRAP Support Package funding can be granted to you to support your supervision and tailored learning in the remote practice where you are practising or will be practising. Isn’t it interesting?
What outcome can you expect to achieve from getting this funding?
- a secure workplace
- a great interest in GP fellowship
- increased involvement of doctors and practices in the MDRAP program
- assurance of support from the practice: completion of supervision requirements and access to training modules
You can be given access to Medicare when you join the MDRAP as it is listed as an approved program under 3GA of the Act.
Training Module Waiver
The Rural Workforce Agencies (RWAs) can waive your requirement to complete the online GP foundation training modules (RACGP and Remote Medicine) if you have a current pass for one of the College exams within 6 months in the MDRAP, except for the Cultural Awareness Module which is mandatory for all MDRAP participants.
Training Module Fees Reimbursement
An RWA can give you back up to $500 by merely providing evidence of completion of your online GP foundation training module (RACGP or Remote Medicine).
Learning and Development Funding
Depending on your participation in the MDRAP and assessment plan which is based on your community needs, an RWA can give you funds up to $13,600 for accessing fully or partially subsidised clinical learning and development opportunities.
MDRAP Placement, Education, and Application Extension
RWAs may extend timeframes to complete education or applications to college pathways. They may also extend a MDRAP placement up to 2 years under the following circumstances:
- You or an immediate family member has a serious illness.
- There is an unforeseen event that affects your ability to meet MDRAP requirements within the expected timeframes (e.g. death in the immediate family).
- Your general practice college has limited capacity to enrol you on a general practice fellowship pathway.
To be granted an extension, you need to provide evidence to support your claim such as letter/s of support from the treating doctor/s, documents showing details about the health condition and treatments done, and a letter of support from your practice.
If you need help preparing your MDRAP application, contact our team at email@example.com.
Note: The information presented above has been gathered from the Department of Health web pages and has been updated as of 10.07.2023.
Information for this blog has been taken directly from:
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