What is Special Approved Placement Program (SAPP) ?

Some doctors in Australia are restricted with 19AA of Health Insurance Act and can only work in 3GA programs. SAPP is a special 3GA program established in year 2003. It helps to assist doctors who due to exceptional circumstances are unable to participate in any other workforce or training program. The SAPP enables doctors to continue their career as a GP until such time as they are able to move to another workforce or training program. Usually it is granted for 2-3 years. Doctors can check their restrictions and obtain more information about SAPP by following 19aa restriction flowchart, 19ab restriction flowchart and SAPP flow chart

SAPP placements are sometimes granted if evidence is provided of exceptional circumstances relating to a serious medical condition that the doctor, or an immediate family member, is suffering. While medical conditions vary in their severity and impact, this program defines exceptional circumstances as:

  • a life threatening illness;
  • an illness that could become life-threatening if not treated; and
  • a chronic illness or disabling condition that if not treated will prevent the person from performing their usual occupation.

SAPP is unable to be used for other non specific issues like financial hardship, kids education and schooling, fertility treatments, marriage, child care etc..

Application for SAPP:

There is no formal application for Special Approved Placement Program (SAPP). If the doctor thinks that he is eligible and want to apply for SAPP, he/she just needs to send an email to 19AA@health.gov.au

Following documents need to be attached with the email:

  • citizenship/residency status of the doctor
  • current medical registration (AHPRA)
  • assessment of Australian and overseas general practice experience;
  • evidence of progress to date towards Fellowship (e.g. RACGP assessment and enrollment statement/letter from ACRRM);
  • letter/confirmation of offer of employment from a medical practice (on official letterhead);
  • current documentary medical evidence from a treating medical specialist.

Please visit Department of Health for obtaining more information about the Special Approved Placement Program (SAPP) here

Warning: Please note that there are many recent changes to Medicare provider number legislations including introducing new 3GA programs and cessation of few 3GA programs. Please consider the information on this page for general purpose only. For any up to date information about 19AB, DWS, 19AA, 3GA, RLRP,MDRAP, PEP, SAPP, AMDS etc, please refer to Medicare and Department of Health website as they are the best sources to get up to date information.