Ottawa, ON — MP Candice Bergen applauds the government’s recent move to forgive Canada Student Loans for those who become doctors and nurses in rural communities. Late last week, the Government announced that family doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners and residents in family medicine in more than 4 200 rural communities across Canada could be eligible for Canada Student Loan forgiveness.
“In a country as vast as Canada, providing health services in close proximity to every citizen is a real challenge. Rural communities face the challenge of providing services to their residents due to a shortage of doctors and nurses,” said MP Bergen. “This has had a direct impact on constituents in Portage-Lisgar and across Canada who have to look elsewhere, often travelling long distances to find a doctor or receive medical assistance.”
In Economic Action Plan 2011, the Government of Canada announced that it would invest an estimated $9 million per year to forgive a portion of Canada Student Loans for family doctors, nurses and nurse practitioners who work in under-served rural or remote communities. Economic Action Plan 2012 further clarified that the incentive will also apply to residents in family medicine.
Offering Canada Student Loan forgiveness will encourage family doctors and nurses to serve Canadians in rural and remote communities and improve access to primary health care.
The Canada Student Loans Program will begin accepting loan forgiveness applications on April 1, 2013.
To be eligible for partial loan forgiveness, family doctors, residents in family medicine, nurses and nurse practitioners must have been employed for 12 months in a designated rural or remote community and must have provided in-person services for a minimum of 400 hours, or 50 days, throughout that year. Residents in family medicine must have provided a minimum of 400 hours, or 50 days, of in-person service to be eligible. Loan forgiveness will be available for a maximum of five years of work in a designated community.
“Forgiving student loans who choose to serve rural Canadians provides incentive for doctors and nurses to move into these areas and fill gaps in the healthcare system” said Bergen. “I am proud of our Government’s demonstrated commitment to rural Canadians through this helpful initiative.” o:p>
For more information please contact: Brittany Saunders 613.995.9511