Harper government improves health care in rural communities through student loan forgiveness

WINNIPEG, Nov. 13, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development), today highlighted the success of the Government of Canada's student loan forgiveness program for family doctors and nurses who work, and improve health care, in rural and remote communities.

"Our government is committed to improving access to health care in rural and remote communities," said Minister Bergen. "Through our student loan forgiveness program, we are contributing to Canada's long-term growth, competitiveness and prosperity. We encourage more health care professionals to work in these communities to improve the overall health of Canadians."

Since April 2013, over 1 150 family doctors and nurses have benefitted from Student Loan Forgiveness. Under the Canada Student Loan Forgiveness for Family Doctors and Nurses initiative, family doctors and residents in family medicine could 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 could have up to $4,000 per year forgiven, to a maximum of $20,000 over five years.

By offering this support, the Government of Canada is improving primary health care in designated remote or rural communities across Canada.

Post-secondary education is vital to Canada's economic growth and future prosperity. The Government of Canada's support for post-secondary education is helping Canadians get the right education, skills and training to find good jobs and contribute to their communities.


Backgrounder


In April 2013, the Government of Canada implemented Canada Student Loan forgiveness for family doctors and nurses to encourage eligible family doctors, residents in family medicine, nurse practitioners and nurses to practice in designated rural or remote communities.

Student loan forgiveness is available for health care professionals who practice in more than 4 200 designated communities that have an urban core population of less than 50 000 and are located outside provincial capitals. Applicants can determine whether a community is designated by using the postal code lookup. This initiative only applies to Canada Student Loans, more specifically the federal portion of a government student loan.

To be eligible, applicants must have been employed for a period of 12 months in a designated community and must have provided in-person services for a minimum of 400 hours, or 50 days, in that community. In addition, applicants must be in repayment and up-to-date on their Canada Student Loan payments. For more information, visit CanLearn.ca.

SOURCE: Employment and Social Development Canada

For further information:

Johanna Quinney
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of State (Social Development)
819-953-2350

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
819-994-5559
media@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca
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IF THERE IS A DISCREPANCY BETWEEN ANY PRINTED VERSION AND THE ELECTRONIC VERSION OF THIS NEWS RELEASE, THE ELECTRONIC VERSION WILL PREVAIL.

This news release is available online at www.actionplan.gc.ca.


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