Nine new family doctors coming to underserviced parts of Manitoba

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The Interlake-Eastern Health Region will soon have a new group of family physicians.

On Friday, Health Minister Audrey Gordon and Immigration Minister Wayne Ewasko announced that nine family doctors have started or will soon be starting to work in communities in the area.

Four of these physicians are graduates of the University of Manitoba’s one-year medical licensure program for international medical graduates. This program helps integrate international physicians into the Canadian medical system, and helps these doctors to better understand the Canadian and local health care systems.

These four doctors will be working in rural and underserviced areas in the province and have made a four-year commitment to the region.

“Our government understands the importance of supporting internationally educated individuals,” Ewasko said.

“We understand that in order to invest in our communities and provide quality primary care, we have to recruit and retain the best people for the job.”

Beyond the international doctors, the nine new physicians include two people who did a two-year residency in the Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority, and three others who were trained in rural and northern Manitoba.

There are also currently four family medicine residents completing their residency program in the health region – two in their first year and two in their final year of the program.

The new doctors will be practising in Beausejour, Eriksdale, Lac du Bonnet, Teulon and Selkirk, with the international physicians working in Ashern and Pine Falls.

“When we train family physicians in rural communities, we expose them to both the benefits and specific challenges of providing health care to smaller communities, while also ensuring the primary care that Manitobans deserve,” Gordon said.

Physician retention and recruitment efforts are one of Shared Health’s top priorities for critical service planning.