By Bernard C. Anderson
The Rural Physician Action Plan (RPAP) has changed.
For decades RPAP served both rural physicians and medical school residents who were enhancing their competencies to practice medicine rurally. As of April 1 this year RPAP’s involvement with Alberta’s medical residents is to manage the 125 properties rented throughout rural Alberta to support their rural on-location learning, with the coordination of the rural family medicine program being transferred to the provinces’ two medical schools.
This change has been an incredible opportunity for RPAP to refocus, renew, and develop improved ways to help rural Alberta achieve the health care services they deserve.
In order to renew RPAP, we felt the best way to find out what rural Alberta communities wanted from RPAP was to ask: So we did! And we learned that rural Alberta communities had six key actions they would like RPAP to address:
- Support for rural allied health professions development and retention.
- Support rural communities to have their health care issues heard.
- Help rural communities build capacity to sustain their rural health care.
- Development of a rural health focused research service.
- Development of rural health indigenous program.
- Maintain the suite of rural physician support services that RPAP currently provides.
The renewed RPAP team and our valued Board of Director’s are busy turning these actions into deliverable services. We would love to come and talk to you about this, face-to-face, in your community. Just give us a call at: 780-423-9911
In the meantime, keep an eye on our social media information, starting with our website - www.rpap.ab.ca.
2017-18 is a year of change for RPAP. There is a lot to be done and we feel privileged to have the opportunity to do so.
We sincerely thank the Minister of Health, Sarah Hoffman, and the staff we work with on a daily basis at the Ministry, for their continued support of rural Alberta as provided through the programs and services of RPAP. ◊◊◊
Bernard C. Anderson is the Executive Director of the Alberta Rural Physician Action Plan (RPAP)
This article originally appeared in the Summer 2017 edition of Alberta Rural Health Quarterly. To access a digital copy, visit www.rpap.ab.ca/quarterly.