New Doctors for Rural B.C.
Prince George, B.C. – The provincial government has announced plans to treat the doctor shortage in rural B.C.
Today they’ve announced 14 internationally-trained physicians will begin practicing in rural and remote communities this month.
The Northern communities set to benefit are McBride, Hazelton, Quesnel, Dawson Creek, Fort St. John (two), and Terrace.
The 14 doctors represent the first group to participate in the new Practice Ready Assessment pilot program – an initiative designed to improve the recruitment and retention of doctors.
According to a government news release, the program requires “doctors undergo a rigorous assessment process” which includes “spending three months with a B.C. physician who evaluates their skills as they care for patients.”
Victoria says an additional 16 medical graduates will be assessed in the fall. The program cost $2.8 million and was funded by the Joint Standing Committee on Rural Issues.
The Ministry of Health says doctors in this program come from a variety of countries, including South Africa, Nigeria, India and China.