Many Albertans have been affected by the lack of healthcare services in small towns. With this barrier, many Albertans such as Pétronille Makuetche, a Brooks resident, have to travel to the bigger cities in our province to get the care that she needs. This problem does not only have an effect on her but on her family as well.
After a recent surgical process at Calgary Foothills Hospital, she explains how difficult it is to travel for care from Brooks to Calgary. She still hopes for the government to make some changes in rural Alberta.
Alberta Health Services says they are aware of the problem. James Wood, the director of media relations and issues management, emailed this statement to the Journal in response to interview requests:
AHS is aware of challenges associated with recruiting physicians outside of main urban centres and has a dedicated team in place focused on implementing solutions to support recruitment efforts. AHS regularly engages with the Rural Health Professions Action Plan (RHPAP) to collaborate on attraction and retention strategies for specific communities and occupations, including supporting them in the implementation of the Rural Education Supplement and Integrated Doctor Experience (RESIDE) program. The RESIDE program is designed to address challenges in physician distribution and patient access to health services in rural and remote areas of the province by supporting new in-practice physicians to explore living and working in rural Alberta.
AHS has created a page focused on rural care on the AHS Careers Site. AHS is also:
- Actively sourcing critical positions through direct contact via professional associations, LinkedIn, Indeed and other talent networks;
- Leveraging the retention of an increased pandemic workforce, through a targeted rural campaign;
- Attending various virtual careers fairs with rural managers to highlight our critical vacancies
- Implementing student initiatives for both spring graduates and undergraduates.