March 15, 2016 - 4:30 PM
ASHCROFT - Four international doctors are settling in at their new rural locations in B.C. after months of doctor shortages and reduced emergency room hours.
Doctors will start practicing in Logan Lake and Princeton while two doctors are slated to start work in Ashcroft as part of a Practice Ready Assessment B.C. program, which places internationally trained doctors in the province.
"The Practice Ready Assessment program is one of several ways we are strengthening health care in local communities, especially in rural and remote areas of the province," Health Minister Terry Lake says. “Doctors in smaller communities provide a broad range of health care in their practices and hospitals that not only support the health and wellness of individuals, but the community as a whole."
One of several practitioners to arrive is Dr. Deborah Obu, who moved her family of five from Ireland to Ashcroft after meeting with recruiters at a conference in Dublin.
“Eventually, most of my friends from Ireland moved to beautiful British Columbia; it is a no-brainer that I am moving there too as the province has everything I love,” she says. “Before starting my assessment in Lillooet, I was quite uncertain of the experience ahead. However, the doctors I worked with were very kind. I remember one of them saying to me ‘I know you are an experienced physician and have worked hard to get to this stage, now let us assess and assist you get ready to practice in Canada."
The assessment program received $7.6 million by B.C.’s Joint Standing Committee on Rural Issues which focuses on improving access to health care in remote areas. Funding will continue until March 2018.
After completing the assessment process, doctors will commit to practicing in a designated location for at least three years.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016