What is the AMDS Program?
The Approved Medical Deputising Services (AMDS) Program offers non-vocationally recognised (non-VR) doctors the opportunity to gain general practice experience. Participants are granted access to Medicare benefits for providing deputising services to the community through an AMDS.
As a 3GA approved workforce program, doctors on this program satisfy section 19AA of the Health Insurance Act 1973.
Why it is important?
The AMDS Program allows general practitioners to deputise after-hours care for their patients to alternate service providers. Approved participants are granted access to Medicare rebates for providing primary care to patients in their home, or in residential aged care facilities. This reduces the need for patients to attend an emergency department for after-hours care.
Who we work with
We work with Services Australia – Medicare, and AMDS Service Providers to administer the program.
What are the eligibility requirements for doctors?
To participate on the AMDS Program, you need to meet the following criteria:
- Be a non-VR doctor actively working towards Fellowship
- Hold limited, provisional, or general medical registration with the Medical Board of Australia (MBA)
- Hold a current Level 1 Advanced Life Support (ALS) Course Certificate
- Have at least two years of post-graduate experience, including paediatrics, accident and emergency, and medicine and surgery.
If your participation is approved, you will be granted an initial placement of two years. Extensions beyond this time are assessed on an annual basis, and are only granted if you are participating on a college-led Fellowship pathway. There is a maximum participation period of 10 years.
You can work for more than one AMDS Service Provider at a time. If you are already participating on a general practice workforce or training program, and wish to participate on the AMDS Program, you should contact the agency that issued your placement for further advice.
How do I apply?
You will need to contact an AMDS Service Provider to discuss employment opportunities, and submit a completed application form to your chosen service. You can download the application form below.
Service Providers are responsible for assessing your application against the program requirements, and applying to us for your placement. We will make the final decision on your eligibility to participate, and advise your service provider of the outcome.
If you need assistance with identifying Service Providers in your area, please contact us.
What are the eligibility requirements for medical deputising services?
A fully accredited medical deputising service (MDS) that has been in operation for more than twelve months can apply to join the AMDS Program.
Services must be governed by a Medical Director, be a stand-alone service, operate a clinical triage protocol against the program guidelines, and operate for the entire after-hours period.
How does my service apply?
Applicants must enter into a deed of agreement with the Department of Health. You can download the application form below.
Can AMDS Service Providers advertise their services?
AMDS Service Providers are not permitted to market their services directly to consumers. Patients seeking after-hours care should contact their usual general practice for advice on care options.
Further details are provided in Section 7 of the AMDS Program Guidelines.
We monitor the compliance of doctors and service providers participating in the AMDS Program, and investigate any complaints we receive.
If you believe a service provider has breached the AMDS Program Guidelines, you can submit a report to us using the contact link below. All reports are treated confidentially.
Where we determine that a breach of the AMDS Program Guidelines may have occurred, we will ask the service provider to formally respond to the issue, and work with them to achieve compliance. For privacy reasons, we do not disclose the outcome of a complaint to the party who submitted it.
In cases where serious and ongoing breaches of the AMDS Program Guidelines have occurred, the Department of Health may elect to terminate a service provider’s deed of agreement.
Further details, including how we assess complaints, are provided in Section 8 of the AMDS Program Guidelines.
If you would like to make a complaint about a doctor participating on the AMDS Program, you should contact the relevant service provider in the first instance. For complaints relating to inappropriate Medicare billing, you can make a Health provider-related tip off.
Changes to the GP Fellowship Pathway
From 1 January 2022, candidates must have participated on a college-led training program in order to sit the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) fellowship examinations. The AMDS Program does not meet this requirement.
From 1 July 2023, the After Hours Other Medical Practitioners (AHOMPs) Program will cease. Access to the general practice Medicare items will only be available to vocationally recognised doctors, and participants on selected college training programs from this date.
The AMDS Program is currently open for applications.
- Application form for Doctors (Word 740 KB)
- Declaration of Exceptional Circumstances (Word 735 KB)
- Application Form for service providers (Word 736 KB)
Contact us for further information.