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HomeNewsProvince commits $43 million to teaching clinic in Lethbridge

Province commits $43 million to teaching clinic in Lethbridge

The province is investing $43.2 million into a physician training clinic at the University of Lethbridge. It is part of a $224.8 million budget item for addressing physician shortages in rural areas. 

There is also a training clinic planned in Grande Prairie and $55.6 million is budgeted for operating costs in both cities. 

The province says students will train alongside healthcare professionals and will get practical hands-on experience serving rural patients. It adds the clinics will provide primary care in both cities and will operate after regular hours to help ease demand on emergency rooms.  

Albertans deserve access to timely medical care in every corner of our province. Establishing the new training centres in Lethbridge and Grande Prairie is the first of many steps to solve the rural physician shortage,” says Rajan Sawhney, minister of advanced education. “Advanced Education is committed to increasing support for Alberta’s medical schools and providing significant support to encourage more physicians to live and practice in rural settings.” 

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The province says the centres will contribute more than 100 practicing physicians every year. University of Lethbridge president Dr. Digvir Jayas says the first cohort of students will start in 2025 and will enter the work force in about six years. 

“Access to a family physician is an incredible challenge for many families in small- to mid-sized centres across southern Alberta – including rural and Indigenous communities. Investing in a program that recruits local students, and trains them in areas across southern Alberta, will lead to more doctors practicing in those areas for decades to come,” he says. 

The Rural Medical Education Program Training Centres will partner with local institutions to develop regional training campuses outside of cities, according to a news release from the province. 

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