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VICTORIA, B.C. – The provincial government announced today that fourteen new internationally-trained physicians will begin practising in rural and remote communities in B.C., four of whom will be coming to the Peace Region.

Two of the new doctors will be moving to Dawson Creek, while Fort St. John and Chetwynd will also get one new physician. The four doctors were recruited throught the Practice Ready Assessment-BC program, a partnership between the provincial government and Doctors of BC.

“The Practice Ready Assessment program strengthens health-care services in rural and remote communities throughout B.C.,” said Health Minister Terry Lake. “Doctors in small communities not only contribute to the health and wellness of their patients, but to the community itself.”

This is the fourth group of internationally trained family doctors to be granted licenses to practice in B.C. after going through the program. A total of 53 family doctors are now providing care to patients in rural and under served communities under the program. As part of the program, doctors undergo a rigorous assessment process, spending three months with a doctor in B.C. who evaluates their skills as they care for patients. Physicians successfully completing the program commit to practise for a minimum of three years in a designated rural community in need.

The four doctors have either begun practising this month or are in the process of establishing their practices.

“More and more people are discovering the wonderful opportunities of Dawson Creek,” said Mike Bernier, MLA for Peace River South. “Bringing in more doctors will support the delivery of quality health-care services for our growing community.”

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