Rural and remote doctors are burning out. What will it take to help them? – GLOBAL

February 20, 2024

The federal government is offering more money to incentivize doctors and nurses to work in rural and remote communities where medical access is most dire across the country.

The government will now forgive up to $60,000 of Canada Student Loans for family physicians and up to $30,000 for nurses or nurse practitioners working in rural and remote communities over a five-year period — a 50 per cent increase in loan forgiveness.

The government estimates the move will attract nearly 1,200 more doctors and 4,000 more nurses to rural communities over the next decade. But those working in the medical field say this funding is like putting a band-aid on a broken bone.

Almost 20 per cent of Canadians live in rural, remote, Indigenous, coastal or northern communities, but only eight per cent of physicians practise in non-urban areas of Canada.

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