ROMPS HAS ENDED.
What was ROMPs?
Under the Rural Other Medical Practitioners Program (ROMPs), non-Vocationally Registered GPs looking to attain their fellowship are eligible to attract the higher A1 Medicare rebates if they work in areas which fall into one of the following regional classifications:
· RRMA 4 to 7
· RRMA 3 with District of Workforce Shortage (DWS)
· Defined Areas of Consideration (AOC)
This program looks to address both the traditional shortage of doctors in rural and remote region, as well as boosting the numbers of non-VR doctors going on to attain fellowship. However, as part of the Stronger Rural Health Strategy reforms announced in the 2018 budget, the ROMPs program will no longer be accepting new entrants from 1 November 2018.
What does this mean for VR (Fellowed) GPs?
Nothing – all changes are to MBS items for non-VR GPs only.
What does this mean for non-VR GPs?
This means that as of the 1st of November 2018, due to changes to the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) all rural non-VR doctors not already entered into the ROMPs pathway will be paid 20% less, and the doctor will need to be accepted into a GP training program to access full Medicare benefits.
What if I’m already entered into the ROMPs program?
Whilst no new entrants will be accepted into the program from the 1st of November, existing participants in the ROMPs program and those who successfully apply prior to 1stof November will have grandfathering arrangements made available to them. This gives them a grace period in which to complete their fellowship whilst still receiving the higher Medicare rebates.
How long do I have to complete my fellowship?
The scheme has been grandfathered for a period of 5 years, with a final deadline of 30 June 2023.
What if I don’t complete my fellowship by the 2023 deadline?
In the event that you haven’t completed your fellowship by the deadline mentioned above, you will move to a lower fee structure (A7) which is 80% of the current A1 rebate.
What other pathways to fellowship are open to non-VR GPs who miss out on entry to ROMPS?
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) have recently announced that as of 1st January 2019, they will be rolling out their new Practice Experience Program (PEP). This program aims to provide a comprehensive training to non VR GPs looking to attain their fellowship, delivered via online modules, in-practice assessment activities and support from medical educators. For more information on PEP, click here.
Still have questions about ROMPs and what this means for you? Get in touch with OchreRecruitment here, and we will do our best to answer any questions you have.