Applications are open on Feb. 1 for a program providing benefits to bring new family physicians to rural Alberta.
The Rural Education Supplement and Integrated Doctor Experience program will provide $2 million to 20 new family physicians in each of the next three years. The physicians will practice in 15 identified rural or remote communities of need. Further communities will be identified in subsequent years.
Minister of Health Jason Copping says “RESIDE will be key in attracting new family physicians to bring Albertans in rural communities the health care they deserve. By addressing rural physician recruitment and retention, this $6-million program is another part of our $90-million commitment this year to ensure Albertans have equitable access to physicians no matter where they live.”
The family physicians who choose to work in the specific communities will be eligible for $60,000 for undergraduate tuition fee reimbursement with remote communities incentives ranging anywhere from $20,000 to $40,000. In exchange
Family physicians who choose to work in specific communities will be eligible for $60,000 for undergraduate tuition fee reimbursement, as well as a remote community incentive ranging from $20,000 to $40,000, depending on the community’s remoteness. In exchange, successful physicians will provide three years of service in a designated rural community.
“The RESIDE program will play a vital role in attracting physicians to Alberta’s rural and remote communities,” Dr. Gavin Parker, board chairperson, Rural Health Professions Action Plan said. “The launch of RESIDE demonstrates the Government of Alberta’s ongoing commitment toward ensuring rural Albertans have access to health care close to home.”
The Rural Health Professions Action Plan will administer the $6-million RESIDE program.
The fifteen communities have been identified for the first year of the program:
- Fox Creek
- Grande Cache
- Fort Vermilion
- High Level
- Milk River
- Cold Lake
- Lac La Biche
- Rocky Mountain House
- Fort Macleod
Alberta’s government is spending about $90 million in total in 2021-22 to address rural physician recruitment and retention:
- Rural and Remote Northern Program (RRNP): $57 million
- Rural Medical Education (RME): $6 million
- Rural Integrated Community Clerkship program (RICC): $4 million
- Rural Health Professions Action Plan (RhPAP): $9 million, including $2 million for RESIDE
- Locum programs: $3 million
- Rural Physician On Call Program (POC): $12 million