OTTAWA, Feb. 6, 2012 /CNW/ - The Canadian Federation of Medical Students
(CFMS) is bringing tomorrow's physicians to Parliament Hill for its
annual Lobby Day. Medical students from Vancouver to St. John's will
meet with Members of Parliament and Senators to explore strategies for
improving access to health care in rural and remote regions of Canada.
The medical students believe that all Canadians - regardless of location
- deserve adequate, quality care. According to Health Canada, the
population-to-doctor ratio in rural Canada will grow to over three
times the national average by 2020. "We want to work with the federal
government to strengthen health care and ensure accessibility to all
Canadians," says Chloé Ward, Vice President Advocacy for the Canadian
Federation of Medical Students.
The CFMS applauds Parliament for addressing this issue. In March 2011,
the federal government announced that it will forgive a portion of
Canada Student Loans for new family physicians working in rural and
remote communities. Nonetheless, the value of this incentive is
limited. New graduates begin to pay off their loans during medical
residency training, before they are eligible for the loan forgiveness.
Noura Hassan, President of the Canadian Federation of Medical Student,
says "We are requesting that the government defer repayment of these
loans until the completion of medical residency training. This would
more effectively attract new medical graduates to rural and remote
communities and better serve the needs of Canadians."
The CFMS is also calling upon the federal government to allocate funds
for the establishment of mentorship programs that attract rural
students to medical school. While 1 in 5 Canadians live in a rural or
remote area, this is true of only 1 in 10 medical students.
Additionally, students from rural Canada are 2.5 times more likely to
practice in a rural community upon the completion of their training.
Mentorship programs in the United States and Australia have been highly
successful in recruiting rural students to careers in medicine.
"These are simple, sensible strategies for improving health care access
to those for whom it is least available," says Matthew Tenenbaum, Vice
President of Communications. "It is important to ensure that the
principle of accessible health care is realized everywhere in this
The Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS) is a national
organization that represents over 7500 medical students at 14 medical
schools across Canada.
SOURCE Canadian Federation of Medical Students
For further information:
Matthew Tenenbaum, Vice President Communications
Canadian Federation of Medical Students
Cell: (905) 520-8832 • firstname.lastname@example.org