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MP Vic Toews applauds Government’s commitment to strengthen health care for rural Canadians

Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, announced that family doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners and residents in family medicine in more than 4200 rural communities across Canada could be eligible for Canada Student Loan forgiveness.

“In a country as vast as Canada, providing health services in close proximity to every citizen is a real challenge,” said MP Toews. “By offering Canada Student Loan forgiveness, we’re doing our part to encourage family doctors and nurses to serve Canadians in rural and remote communities and improve access to primary health care.”

In Economic Action Plan 2011, the Government of Canada announced that it would invest an estimated $9 million per year to forgive a portion of Canada Student Loans for eligible health practitioners.

To be eligible for partial loan forgiveness, family doctors, residents in family medicine, nurses and nurse practitioners must have been employed for 12 months in a designated rural or remote community and must have provided in-person services for a minimum of 400 hours, or 50 days, throughout that year. Residents in family medicine must have provided a minimum of 400 hours, or 50 days, of in-person service to be eligible. Loan forgiveness will be available for a maximum of five years of work in a designated community.

A designated community is a census subdivision that:

• has a core population of less than 50,000
• is located outside of census metropolitan areas
• is located outside of census agglomerations that have a core population of 50,000 or more
• is located outside of the capital cities’ of the ten provinces

The Canada Student Loans Program will begin accepting loan forgiveness applications on April 1, 2013.

Applicants can determine whether a community is designated by using the postal code search tool available on CanLearn.ca.

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