Nurse Practitioners in rural and remote set to have their HELP debt wiped or reduced

Nurse Practitioners and doctors who lives and works in rural and remote Australia will have their HELP debt wiped or reduced under legislation passed today in Parliament.

The HELP debt reduction for a nurse practitioner or doctor will depend on the length of their course of study, and the amount of outstanding HELP debt when they commence providing eligible services in an eligible location.

While the amount of benefit will vary, nurse practitioner could save up to $20,000 with the legislation going towards covering a Master’s Degree in Commonwealth supported study, a full fee-paying place, or a combination of both.

The Government hopes this legislation will attract about 850 doctors and nurse practitioners every year to rural and remote areas.

Minister for Health and Aged Care Mark Butler said the Government wanted to make sure all Australians had access to quality health care, no matter where they live.

“We recognise the challenge of recruiting and retaining primary health care workers in rural and remote communities,” he said. “These measures will make country practice a more attractive long-term career option for doctors and nurse practitioners.”

The criteria for the subsidy includes:

  • A remote or very remote town for a period of half the length of their course would have their entire HELP debt wiped.
  • A large, medium or small rural town for a 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.

Eligible locations will be determined by the Modified Monash Model, which classifies remoteness. The measures are effective from 1 January 2022.

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