“Rural health-care providers ensure a wide range of health-care services are available to Albertans living in rural and remote parts of our province. They make untold contributions to enhance the well-being and quality of life of so many Albertans and become valued members of the communities they serve. 

“Albertans in rural areas deserve access to the same level of care as those in more urban centres. This government is dedicated to ensuring quality health care in every region.

“Attracting and retaining physicians, nurses, midwives and other health-care providers to rural communities is a constant challenge. Recruitment and retention require a collaborative effort that involves all levels of government, AHS, health-care workers and the communities themselves to achieve a successful outcome.

“Alberta’s government committed $90 million in 2022-23 for a variety of initiatives to improve physician recruitment and retention in rural Alberta. We are grateful to our collaborative partner the Rural Health Professions Action Plan, which works to keep a broad range of accessible health-care providers close to home for many Albertans.

“The launch of the RESIDE program (Rural Education Supplement and Integrated Doctor Experience) provides $2 million to 20 newly trained family physicians in each of the next three years to practise in rural or remote communities of need.

“Quality rural health care also depends on access to nurses. In response, over the next three years, the Rural Capacity Investment Fund will provide $15 million to recruit and retain nurses in these rural areas and provide another $7.5 million for relocation assistance where needed. 

“Accessible rural health care is also a personal and community effort. Thank you to the many volunteers who go above and beyond to welcome health-care workers into their communities and who provide them – as well as their families – with heart-felt and practical support. 

“Communities across the province appreciate the skills and commitment of rural health-care providers in meeting the needs of rural Albertans and ensuring everyone has equal access to care. 

“Rural health matters. May 30 to June 3 has been declared Alberta Rural Health Week.”