RPAP wants ideas to expands its role

Richard Froese
A provincial program to recruit healthcare professionals in rural areas is growing and invites ideas from citizens on how to better serve their health needs.

For a quarter of a century, the Alberta Rural Physician Action Plan (RPAP) has served as a collaborative partner and trusted advocate for rural Alberta communities trying to achieve greater access to health care, says a message from RPAP executive director Bernard C. Anderson.

“Please share any thoughts you have on how RPAP could improve,” says Lesser Slave MLA Danielle Larivee, who emailed the message to local government officials on Jan. 16.

RPAP has worked with rural Albertans, and partners in government and health care to successfully attract and retain physicians to practice in rural Alberta.

“To ensure our involvement with rural Alberta communities is driven by local interests, we invite you take the time to answer one question for us,” Anderson says. “Given our current context, “how could an organization like RPAP deliver greater value to rural Alberta in support of delivering better access to quality, sustainable health care?”

Following a review by the Ministry of Health, RPAP is expanding its mandate to provide support services beyond physicians to other health professions, for example, nurses and nurse practitioners, occupational and physical therapists, midwives, and paramedics. “While our scope is expanding, our efforts remain firmly focused in and for rural Alberta,” Anderson says.

“Before we go too far down the development path toward a renewed rural physician and healthcare professional services support program, we would love to hear from citizens.”

Submissions may be emailed to Anderson at bernard.anderson@rpap.ab.ca.

RPAP is a provincially-focused comprehensive, integrated and sustained program for the education, recruitment and retention of physicians for rural medical practice.

RPAP is funded by Alberta Health as an independent, not-for-profit organization.

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