The legislation introduces the incentive for doctors and nurse practitioners to live and work in the places that need them the most by wiping or reducing their HECs/HELP debt.
It means that a doctor or nurse practitioner who lives and works in:
- A remote or very remote town for a time period of half the length of their course would have their entire HELP debt wiped.
- A large, medium or small rural town for a time period equal to the whole length of their course would have their entire HELP debt wiped.
- An eligible place for a period of time equivalent to half the time required is eligible to half the applicable debt reduction.
The Government expects this legislation will attract about 850 doctors and nurse practitioners every year.
For nurse practitioners, the legislation will go towards covering a Master’s Degree in Commonwealth supported study, a full fee-paying place, or a combination of both.
Eligible locations are determined by the Modified Monash Model which classifies remoteness and includes Castlemaine, Maldon, Elmore, Kyneton and Heathcote.
The measures are effective from 1 January 2022.
Quotes attributable to Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters:
“Our entire community is being impacted by the workforce shortages in the health and this announcement will help entice more doctors and nurse practitioners to the region.
“Zero HECS debt is a great incentive for young graduates to live and work and build their careers in places like Castlemaine, Heathcote, Elmore and Kyneton.”