The doctor to patient ratio in the Cariboo is looking less dire according to the Central Interior Rural Division of Family Practice following a media release Monday welcoming 14 new doctors to practice in rural and remote communities across the province.
“The Practice Ready Assessment (PRA) program has been very beneficial to our area as we have received 1 new doctor in 100 Mile House and 2 new ones in Williams Lake through this program,” says Central Interior Rural Division of Family Practice project manager Jill Zimonick.
“These doctors, on top of the 1 that 100 Mile welcomed earlier in the year and another new one that just started in Williams Lake, our doctor to patient ratio is looking much better. In saying that, we do need to always plan for the future as there will always be physician turnover.”
The new doctors according to the Ministry of Health are the fourth group of internationally trained family doctors to be granted licenses to practice in BC after going through the province’s PRA program. Upon completing program requirements and a clinical field assessment, doctors sign a three-year return of service contract to practice in a rural community in need.
As for other recruitment initiatives, Zimonick says that a campaign designed to involve the residents of the region will wrap up at the end of March.
“Tick Tock is going well. So far we have 15 doctor names submitted and have given away hundreds of dollars in prizes. We are hoping to reach a target of 20 names before the contest closes so the team is doing one last big push to get those leads.”
“The Grand Prize will be drawn in mid-April and is for $3000 and we currently have about 450 entrants for this draw.”