December 9, 2010
Grants Part of Province's Plan to Provide All Manitobans Access to a Family Doctor by 2015: Selinger
Manitoba medical students who agree to work in areas most in need of doctors will have their medical school costs fully covered by the province under a new program announced today by Premier Greg Selinger.
"Today there are 405 more doctors and 40 more medical school spaces than there were in 1999 as a result of our government's aggressive education, recruitment and retention efforts," said Selinger. "With this new program we are strengthening incentives for medical school graduates willing to work where they are needed most so that all Manitoba families can benefit from our significant investments in health care."
Under the new grant program, Manitoba medical students will be eligible for grants of $12,000 in each of their four years of medical school. Each grant requires a commitment to return six months of service to under-serviced populations upon graduation.
In their fourth year, students will have the option of taking a
$25,000 grant by committing to an additional one-year return of service. In total, students will have access to a maximum of
$61,000 over four years in exchange for a two-and-a-half-year commitment to under-serviced communities.
"Graduates who accept these grants will be providing care to many families that don't have a family doctor today," said Health Minister Theresa Oswald. "By targeting areas most in need of doctors, we are taking a significant step toward ensuring all Manitobans have access to a family doctor by 2015, regardless of where they live."
The program is open to all medical school students, whether they are pursuing family medicine degrees or areas of specialty.
Students will also still be eligible for the Manitoba tuition-tax rebate and the federal textbook rebate. When combined with the tuition- and textbook-tax rebates, students will be able to cover other costs associated with medical school studies including school-related travel and living expenses.
"We are proud to serve as Manitoba's medical school," said Dr.
Brian Postl, dean, faculty of medicine, University of Manitoba.
"This strong commitment from the provincial government will ensure all areas of the province benefit going forward."
The new grant program replaces and strengthens existing provincial medical student grants that were only available in years three and four of studies. It will be available to medical students beginning in the fall of 2011.
The most in-need under-serviced populations will be determined annually based on information from regional health authorities, Manitoba Health and the faculty of medicine. After completing their residency, students will be able to review the communities designated as under-serviced that year and apply to return service where they choose.