11-18 May 2015 is Alberta Rural Health Week: An opportunity to focus attention and raise awareness about both the challenges and success stories related to rural health.
Access to quality health services contributes to the quality of life for rural Albertans. Just as Alberta’s health system is evolving, so too is rural health practice as it responds to emerging technologies, improved medical practices and enhanced skills of rural health professionals; and develops health innovations.
Rural health service delivery faces some unique challenges not seen in urban areas – large geographic distances, the ease of access to health services, and issues related to recruitment and retention of rural health workers. As well, recruitment and retention of nurses, physicians, rehabilitation and mental health therapists, laboratory technicians, and diagnostic imaging practitioners can be more difficult than in urban communities.
As a result, health professionals in rural Alberta work together as a team to provide care for residents. They often have a special relationship with their clients as they also live and work alongside them as family, friends, neighbours, and community volunteers. Their health care skills and practices contribute to the quality of rural life and help to strengthen local communities.
We encourage communities to show appreciation for the contributions of rural physicians and preceptors (teaching physicians) through simple means such as thank-you letters in local newspapers and certificates of appreciation; or nominating the healthcare heroes in your community for an RPAP Award.
Celebrate the contributions of health workers to quality of life in rural Alberta.
For more information on RPAP Awards click here.