Rural Practice Programs

The Rural Practice Subsidiary Agreement outlines different funding arrangements to address the special needs of both rural communities and physicians practicing in rural communities.

Programs for all physicians

  • The Rural Continuing Medical Education (CME) program provides funding to update and enhance the medical skills and credentials required for rural practice. This is in addition to the CME entitlement provided for in the working agreement between the BC government and Doctors of BC (formerly known as the BC Medical Association).
  • The Rural Retention Program provides a premium to eligible physicians living and practicing in certain BC communities.
  • The Isolation Allowance Fund provides funding for eligible physicians who provide necessary medical services in communities with fewer than four physicians and no hospital, and who do not receive MOCAP, call back, or Doctor of the Day payments.
  • The Recruitment Incentive Fund offers $5,000-$20,000 to physicians recruited to current or pending vacancies in eligible rural communities. It is not available to physicians already practicing in a rural community.
  • The Recruitment Contingency Fund assists with recruitment expenses incurred for eligible communities/physicians when the difficulty of filling a vacancy is – or is expected to be – especially severe and failure to fill the vacancy in a timely manner would have a significant impact on medical care.
  • The Northern & Isolation Travel Assistance Outreach Program provides funding for approved physicians who visit rural and isolated communities to provide medical services. It also provides a travel time honorarium.

Are you a General Practitioner (GP)?

  • The Rural Emergency Enhancement Fund supports Emergency Department service hours to improve public access to emergency services in rural communities. It supports GPs in rural communities where fee-for-service physicians typically provide hospital services in conjunction with a full family or general practice.
  • The Rural GP Locum Program helps rural GPs secure subsidized periods of leave from their practices for purposes such as continuing medical education, maternity leave, vacation and health needs.
  • The Rural GP Anaesthesia Locum Program assists GPs, with enhanced anaesthesia skills, in eligible rural communities to secure subsidized leaves from their practices for purposes such as CME and vacation.

Are you a specialist physician?

  • The Rural Specialist Locum Program provides support for eligible specialist physicians to have reasonable periods of leave from their practices for such purposes as CME, parental leave, vacation and health needs. It also assists in the provision of continuous specialist coverage.

Need more information?

For more information on the rural practice programs, please contact Julian Jamieson at julian.jamieson@vch.ca or 604-875-5084.