Approximately 22% of Canadians live in rural areas (defined as communities of less than 10,000 people), and are served by 17% of the family physicians and less than 3% of all specialists. The federal and provincial governments have devised numerous incentives, regulations and policies designed to increase the number of physicians who practice in rural areas.
The Subsidiary Agreement for Physicians in Rural Practice (RSA) is an agreement negotiated between the British Columbia Medical Association (BCMA) and the BC Ministry of Health. The goal is to enhance the availability and stability of physician services in rural areas of British Columbia.
Rural Retention Program (RRP)
Retention payments are paid to physicians working in eligible RSA communities.
Rural Continuing Medical Education (RCME)
Provides rural physicians with enhanced CME funding.
Recruitment Incentive Fund (RIF)
Funding for physicians recruited to fill current or pending vacancies.
Recruitment Contingency Fund (RCF)
Additional funding to assist communities, health authorities, or physician groups where the difficulty in filling a vacancy is, or is expected to be, especially severe.
Isolation Allowance Fund (IAF)
Funding for physicians providing necessary medical services in eligible RSA communities with fewer than four physicians, no hospital, and who do not receive MOCAP, Call Back, or Doctor of the Day payments.
Rural Education Action Plan (REAP)
REAP supports the training needs of physicians in rural practice, provides undergraduate medical students and postgraduate residents with rural practice experience, and increases rural physician participation into the medical school selection process.
Detailed information on the rural programs and benefits can be found in the Guide for the Rural Physician Programs in British Columbia.