Rural Physician Action Plan Review

Rural and remote areas in Alberta face many challenges in attracting and retaining the health care providers they need to deliver health care services in their communities.

Over the last few years, Alberta has experienced a decrease in its rural physician workforce despite Alberta Healthís significant investment in rural attraction, training and retention programs. For 2015/2016, Alberta Health has invested approximately $105.7 million in rural initiatives and programs.

Alberta Health is now reviewing these investments to identify what is working well, and what could work better as we address the unique challenges of rural health care delivery.

The review process will look at program mandates and outcomes, potential redundancies across programs, funding flows and operational efficiencies.

The Alberta Rural Physician Action Plan is the first program being reviewed.

Current government programs include:

  • Alberta Rural Physician Action Plan (RPAP)
  • The Business Cost Program
  • Rural Remote Northern Program
  • Rural Integrated Community Clerkship
  • Rural On-Call Program
  • Physician Locum Service Program

Other organizations in Alberta involved in attracting, retaining, and training rural physicians include:

  • Alberta Health Services
  • The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta
  • Alberta Medical Association
  • University of Alberta
  • University of Calgary
  • Alberta rural communities

The Alberta Rural Physician Action Planís grant with Alberta Health expires on March 31, 2016. Alberta Health has extended the grant to September 30, 2016, to support the Alberta Rural Physician Action Planís operations and rural provincial programs during the review process.

Alberta Health understands that access to health care is vital for all Albertans. The review will help us ensure that rural programs and initiatives are demonstrating value for the investment Albertans are making in them, and the health needs of all Albertans are being met Ė no matter where they choose to live.