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Voluntary Bonding Scheme


2017 review, and 2018/20192017 review, and 2018/2019 intake information 


The Voluntary Bonding Scheme (VBS) was implemented in 2009 to provide a financial incentive to new graduates to encourage them to work in areas (locations and specialities) that were hard to staff.

The Minster of Health (MOH) has confirmed the health professions, communities and specialties that will be eligible for the VBS in 2018.  Full details are on theMOH website. The registration period for the 2018 Scheme is expected to open in February 2018.

To ensure greater certainty for future applicants, the eligible listed areas for the 2018 intake will also apply for the 2019 intake. Additional professions, communities or specialties may be added to the 2019 intake at a later date. 

Key changes for the coming year 

Note, no changes have been made to the eligibility criteria for new graduate doctors, dentists or sonographers.

  • Eligible communities for midwifery and general practice medicine have been adjusted.
  • The listed specialties for registered nurses have been adjusted.
  • Postgraduate general practice trainees commencing the General Practice Education Programme (GPEP) levels 1, 2 or 3 may register for the Scheme in 2018 - this was previously restricted to those commencing level 1.
  • The provisional cap for some professions has been adjusted to reflect registrations received in recent years and allow an increase in the cap for midwifery and postgraduate general practice registrations.

The MOH thank everyone who contributed to their review of the Voluntary Bonding Scheme earlier this year to determine future eligibility criteria. Information regarding the results and insights from the review can be found on the MOH Review webpage.

For more information contact: vbs@moh.govt.nz.

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