Student loan forgiveness for family doctors and nurses in rural Canada

MP Cathy McLeod, Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo speaks in support of program

Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP Cathy McLeod last week spoke in support of the recent federal announcement that eligible family doctors, nurses and nurse practitioners who work in rural communities will have a portion of their Canada Student Loan forgiven starting in spring 2013.

“This change announced by our government will improve primary health care in rural communities like those in our riding” said McLeod. “Canadians rightly expect to receive quality health care no matter where they live. This initiative will encourage more health care professionals to work in the communities that need them most.”

In Economic Action Plan 2011, the Government announced that family doctors, nurses and nurse practitioners who began working in a designated community on, or after, April 1, 2012 will be eligible to apply for partial student loan forgiveness. This applies to most communities with a population of 50,000 or less, including communities that provide health services to First Nations, Inuit and Métis populations. Economic Action Plan 2012 further clarified that the measure will also include residents in family medicine.

“This is another example of our Government acting to strengthen health care and improve the health of Canadians” added McLeod.

Family doctors and residents in family medicine will be eligible to receive up to $8,000 per year in Canada Student Loan forgiveness to a maximum of $40,000 over five years; nurses and nurse practitioners will be eligible to receive up to $4,000 per year to a maximum of $20,000 over five years.

More information is available at www.actionplan.gc.ca.