The B.C. Medical Association and the province are giving doctors $100,000 if they practice in one of 17 rural communities for three years.
Physicians will receive $50,000 upon arrival and the rest of the money after their first year. If they donít stay for the entire period, they will have to pay back the full amount.
The Joint Standing Committee on Rural Issues developed the incentive based on the degree of difficulty on getting a doctor, vacant positions, need for specialists and the number of physicians in the community, explained ministry spokesperson Carlene Thistle-Walker.
Pemberton was one of the communities selected and will be getting a general practitioner. Marnie Simon, Chair of the Sea to Sky Health Care Tri-Board, says anything that will get more resources and facilities into the community are welcome.
The incentive to stay though, Simon said, will depend on the number of patients and the relationship the doctor has with the community.
Thereís a need for specialized doctors in Pemberton, she added. There are a lot of families with young children, so pediatricians would be an asset. They also received more money to do surgeries, but donít have the specialists that can perform them.
There are currently 20 vacant positions in the designated communities. This is part of the provinceís plan to ensure all B.C. residents who want a family doctor can access one by 2015.