06 Mar Media Release: Liberal plan for med student tuition excellent

Wednesday, 05 March 2008
Liberals plan for med student tuition excellent, says Health Network

Halifax, NS – The Liberals’ plan to provide up to 100 medical students with free tuition in exchange for a pledge to practice in under-staffed regions of the province for 5 years is a great step forward, says the Nova Scotia Citizens’ Health Care Network.

“Rural areas of Nova Scotia have major physician shortages,” says Kyle Buott, Coordinator of the Health Network. “The Liberal plan will encourage doctors to stay in Nova Scotia and provide services where they are needed most.”

Municipalities have been backed into a corner and are now providing financial supplements to physicians to practice in certain areas.  This could potentially create a bidding war for health care providers that will see less affluent municipalities suffer.

“The provincial government needs to step in and ensure all Nova Scotians have access to a family physician, regardless of where they live and their ability to pay,” says Buott.  “The Liberal plan could help provide Nova Scotia with the trained health professionals we need.”

The cost of attending medical school is astronomical and may deter students from attending.  Also because of the debt accumulated during this period, many health care workers leave Nova Scotia for regions that can pay higher salaries.

“By reducing the tuition fees medical students need to pay, we can encourage more and more of them to stay in Nova Scotia,” says Buott.  “Also, if implemented, this program may encourage students who wouldn’t have otherwise gone to medical school to become physicians.”

The Nova Scotia Citizens’ Health Care Network supports this part of the Liberal party’s plan for medical training and encourages the provincial government to implement this plan immediately.

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For more information please contact:

Kyle Buott
Nova Scotia Citizens’ Health Care Network
Work – (902) 406-9422
Cell – (902) 478-0239

About the Nova Scotia Citizens’ Health Care Network:

Formed in 1996, the Nova Scotia Citizens’ Health Care Network’s goal is to stop the privatization of the public health care system, ensure high levels of care, and create a forum for people and communities to discuss issues in health care.

The Network is a coalition of local health committees, community groups, organized labour, faith groups and individuals dedicated to protecting and advancing public health care to include services like pharmacare, dental care and long-term and home care.

The Network is political but non-partisan and receives no government funding.