SANDRA M STANWAY
No physicians took up the offer to work in Bassano under the original RESIDE program that opened in May but it’s hoped that with a change in the program and the addition of Brooks as an eligible community that may change.
With provincial funding in place Rural Health Physicians Association Program (RhPAP) started
the program to attract Canadian educated family physicians to remote or underserved communities.
Bassano was on the original list that came out in February and included an $80,000 incentive for a three year contract. One Canadian was interested but decided against the community.
Brooks was not on the original list, however, it was added with a recent program change.
Physicians are now eligible if they have completed their residency in Canada within the last five years. Those who are in their final year of residency are also eligible.
Communities in the program include those on the Alberta Health Rural Remote Northern Program Community Rate Table and which have an approved vacancy for a full-time doctor.
Communities on the Level 1 list will pay participants $80,000 for a two-year return of service or $120,000 for a three-year return of service. Level 2 communities will pay participants $45,000 for a two year contract or $80,000 for a three year contract.
Both Bassano and Brooks are Level 2 communities.
“I’m very excited about this awesome opportunity to attract a home grown physician to Brooks and Bassano,” said Dr. Brendan Currin, chief medical health officer for Brooks.