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B.C. offers $100,000 to each doctor who takes job in one of 17 rural communities

The B.C. Medical Association and the provincial government are teaming up to offer a big carrot to doctors to get them to practice in several rural areas.

Family doctors and specialists who commit to three years in one of 17 designated communities will get a special payment of $100,000.

The communities are Bella Coola, Burns Lake, Chetwynd, Clearwater, Cranbrook, Galiano Island, Hazelton, Kitimat, Nakusp, Pemberton, Port Alberni, Port Hardy, Princeton, Quesnel, Terrace, Tofino and Tumbler Ridge.

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A joint committee of the government and medical association will work with health authorities to determine which communities will get the doctors, based on those in most urgent need.

Doctors who take the offer will get $50,000 when they begin working in the community and the other $50,000 after the first year of their service, but they'll have to refund all of the money if they don't stay the full three years.

BCMA President Dr. Shelley Ross says she believes some doctors may remain in the communities beyond the three years after they begin setting down roots.

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