CQUniversity welcomes new legislation to wipe HELP debt for rural doctors and nurses

10 November 2022
CQUniversity has welcomed the Federal Government's new legislation that will wipe the university debts of doctors and nurses living and working in rural and remote regions of Australia.

By wiping their HECs/HELP debts' the new legislation will incentivise doctors and nurses to live and practice in places that need them the most.

CQUniversity Vice-Chancellor and President' Professor Nick Klomp said today's commitment was welcome news.

'CQUniversity is already providing pathways to employment in regional hospitals through our Regional Medical Pathway (RMP) program which launched this year' and this new legislation will give our graduating doctors a head-start to getting their debts wiped'' Professor Klomp said.

'We all know that regional' rural and remote Australia is in the grip of a massive skilled worker shortfall' particularly in the health sector'' he said.

'Today's announcement will no doubt help alleviate those constraints and is a great incentive for our graduating doctors and nurses' not to mention the communities and the patients who need them the most.'

Professor Klomp thanked the Albanese Government for its commitment to regional' rural and remote health.

'Recruiting and retaining primary health care workers in regional' rural and remote regions has always been a challenge'' Professor Klomp said.

'We know that students who study in regional areas are far more inclined to work in regional areas once they graduate and I thank the government for its commitment to implementing this new legislation and widening the doors for more regional students to remain in their communities post-study.'

Eligibility details

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.

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 the measures are effective from 1 January 2022.