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Alberta 2023 Budget expands rural health supports

Healthcare facilities in the region, including Wainwright, will see upgraded equipment after the province announced $105 million in funding to boost rural health care across Alberta.

The Rural Health Facilities Revitalization Program, according to the province, will help support strategic renovations and developments in health facilities like emergency departments, EMS stations, surgical and dialysis clinics, and other clinical services to improve access to health care in rural Alberta.

Dr. Cheyanne Vetter, facility medical director, Wainwright Health Centre says all Albertans, no matter where they live, need and deserve access to our health system.

“Physicians are a critical part of that system, especially in rural areas where we are trusted to support the needs of neighbours, friends and colleagues during all phases of life. It is a special calling to work in rural health care, but it can be tremendously rewarding for those who pursue it.”

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The provincial government also earmarked $113 million to what they’re calling the Health Workforce Strategy, which aims to add 100 residency training spaces for newly graduated physicians, with a spotlight on rural areas as a destination.

Alberta Health Minister Jason Copping says the government is looking to ensure they have the necessary funding in place to build and strengthen health care in the rural communities.

“This work includes programs that focus on how to recruit, retain and even train more physicians, nurses, and other professionals in areas outside of the cities,” Copping adds.

The year’s budget also funds the new agreement with the Alberta Medical Association with more than $250 million addressing pressures including recruitment and retention programs so more Albertans can access family doctors, and supporting physicians so their practices remain viable.

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