As part of the 2022 Alberta Budget, the provincial government says it has put plans in place to try and recruit and keep physicians and doctors in rural Alberta communities in the future. The plan aims to bring in 20 new physicians in each of the next three years.
$90 million per year has been allocated to address doctor and physician shortages, which includes the Rural Education Supplement and Integrated Doctor Experience program. The RESIDE program plans to recruit doctors and physicians to 15 rural communities, including Grande Cache and Fox Creek.
As part of the initiative, family physicians who choose to work in specific communities will be eligible for $60,000 in undergraduate tuition fee reimbursement, as well as a financial incentive between $20,000 and $40,000, depending on how remote the community is. Successful doctors will work in said communities for three years.
The other communities identified in need of doctors and physicians are High Level, Fort Vermilion, Wabasca, Rimbey, Lloydminster, Milk River, Cold Lake, Lac La Biche, Rocky Mountain House, Fort Macleod, Barrhead, Ponoka, and Athabasca.
Applications are available to work in all 15 rural communities via the Rural Health Professions Action Plan website.