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Posted: March 19, 2013

Anesthesiologist arriving thanks to incentive program

The East Kootenay Regional Hospital in Cranbrook is gaining an anesthesiologist thanks to the provincial government’s Rural Physicians for British Columbia program.

The Government of British Columbia and the BC Medical Association have partnered to establish a new incentive that will help fill 20 pre-designated family physician and specialist positions in rural communities, including an anesthesiologist for Cranbrook.

“An anesthesiologist in the Cranbrook area will be a tremendous asset to the community and will positively affect our local health care system,” stated Kootenay East MLA – Bill Bennett.

The Rural Physicians for British Columbia program incentive provides new and additional support for those rural communities who have experienced the most difficulty in recruiting and retaining physicians.

The incentive will help 17 of the most underserved rural B.C. communities obtain access to primary and specialist physician services.

Helping to fill much needed rural family physician and specialist positions, not only ensures that local families have access to required medical services, but also provides additional support for physicians and other health care professionals in the community.

The incentive will provide each physician with a one-time payment of $100,000 when they commit to a three-year return of service in 17 designated rural communities.

Participating physicians will receive $50,000 when they begin working in the community and the remaining $50,000 will be paid once they have completed one year of service.

The Joint Standing Committee on Rural Issues, comprised of the government and the BC Medical Association, worked with health authorities to select 17 underserved communities based on those in most urgent need.

The 17 selected communities are Bella Coola, Burns Lake, Chetwynd, Clearwater, Cranbrook, Galiano Island, Hazelton, Kitimat, Nakusp, Pemberton, Port Hardy, Port Alberni, Princeton, Quesnel, Terrace, Tofino, and Tumbler Ridge.

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