Rural Continuing Medical Education (RCME)

​​​​The RCME program provides physicians with funding opportunities for medical education to update and enhance medical skills and credentials required for rural practice. These benefits are in addition to the CME entitlement provided for in the Benefits Subsidiary Agreement between the BC Government and Doctors of BC.

The Program

  • Physicians may use individual or community RCME funds for education

  • Individual Funds may be used to cover overhead expenses while attending medical training

  • Community Funds may be used for collective physician education, such as:

    • to pay for course fees, instructor fees, room rentals, catering and accreditation expenses;

    • purchasing new technology or equipment necessary for participation in CME

    • Community RCME does not compensate physicians for attendance or participation in education


  • Physicians must reside and practice in an eligible RSA community for a minimum of nine months per year.

  • A physician who qualifies for RCME but does not stay in a community covered by this agreement for a minimum of 12 months is eligible for a prorated amount.

RSA Communities that reside within VCH demographics are:

A Communities

Bella Bella/Waglisla

Bella Coola

B Communities

Texada Island

C Communities

Powell River

Sechelt & Gibsons

Madeira Park




Bowen Island

Page 7 of the Rural Programs Flyer outlines the different funding for Specialists and General Practitioners depending on how many years they have practiced and resided in the community.

RCME Individual Claims:

Following the January 31, 2018 communication from the Doctors of BC and Joint Standing Committee, physicians are no longer required to submit a claim form and eligible receipts to their Health Authority for payment review and processing. All RCME funds for the fiscal year 2017-18 (April 1, 2017, to March 31, 2018) and each fiscal year going forward will be paid directly to the physician via the Health Authority.  RCME funds are provided to VCH on a quarterly payment schedule. Upon receivership of those funds, Finance, Physician Compensation will issue payment to those physicians listed on the Ministry’s payment advice.

All previously banked funds have been paid directly to each physician as of May 2018. VCH no longer holds RCME funds for any physician to be used for a future claim, transferred to another Rural Health Authority or to group funds if not used within 3 years.

RCME Community Program Claims:

Each Rural Community has an annual allocation of community funds that can be used for collective education in addition to the RCME Individual Funds. Community RCME is determined by the community physicians and the appointed RCME Physician Lead for that community. Please see RCME Physician Leads for the communities below:

  • Bella Bella – Dr. Christopher Gooch​
  • Bella Coola – Dr. Phil McGuire
  • Whistler - Dr. Fern von der Porten
  • Pemberton - Dr. Nick Fisher
  • Squamish - Dr. Steve Masselink
  • Sechelt - Dr. Sara Wadge
  • Bowen Island - Dr. Schloegl, Dr. Kiraly, Dr. Blackwood
  • Texada Island - Dr. Kevin Black (retiring spring 2024) will then be Dr. Diane Rothon ​

Check out the​ Program Overview flyer​ and RCME Community Program website​​ for more information. 

Rural Funding and Claims ​Timelines:

Funding is provided to VCH from the Ministry on a quarterly basis.  Should a claim exceed the current funds available for a provider the claim will be placed on hold until the Ministry has provided VCH with the funding. Partial payments cannot be processed.

Need help? Have questions?

Please contact Julia Bougourd, Rural Programs Liaison at 236-983-3085​ or​ if you have any questions about the RCME program or claims process.​​​