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B.C. says 54 doctors have signed contracts after new salary incentives announced

The B.C. government says that 54 doctors have signed contracts with the province to provide full-time family doctor service after the Ministry of Health announced a signing bonus and other incentives earlier this summer.

On June 21, the province announced it would be offering a $25,000 signing bonus as well as medical training debt forgiveness up to $130,000 to new family doctors who agreed to work in B.C. for five years.

First-year salaries for the new physicians would be $295,457, and doctors were being offered a one-time payment of $75,000 to help with overhead costs for clinics.

Since then, the province says it has signed 54 contracts with family physicians as of Oct. 1, and that 60 more are in talks about finding clinic placements and contract terms.

"Since June 2022, 140 new family physicians have expressed interest in the incentives," said the province in a release Wednesday.

When the incentives were announced in June, the program was met with some controversy.

Many doctors felt like they were blindsided by the initiative, and that physicians had been left out of the consultation process on how to improve the health-care system in B.C.

"There's been a significant amount of anger and frustration among the community of residents and I think part of that has to do with the consultation process," said Dr. Devon Mitchell, resident of the Resident Doctors of B.C., in June.

"One of the big messages we want to carry forward working with government is that there needs to be a more robust system of consulting with residents – particularly those intimately affected," he said at the time.

With files from CTV Vancouver's Penny Daflos Top Stories

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