The Alberta Rural Physician Action Plan
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Physician Locum Services

The Physician Locum Services (formerly the Rural Locum Program) was initiated in early 1992 through the RPAP to provide a short term locum service to rural physicians practising in communities with four or fewer physicians. In January 1996 the program was expanded to provide weekend relief to ensure that weekend call for participating physicians was no greater than 1 in 4. And again in September 1999, the program was expanded to include a seniors' enhancement.

The Regular Rural Locum Program is funded through the Trilaterial Agreement, while the Weekend Rural Locum Program and the Seniors' Enhancement are funded by the RPAP. These initiatives are administered by the Alberta Medical Association on behalf of the funders.

Regular Rural Locum Program

Physicians in communities with four or fewer physicians may access the program, and each physician is eligible for four weeks of locum coverage per year.

Summer months are limited to a maximum of two weeks per physician to accommodate the high demand for the service. Communities with critical shortages are assisted with locum coverage based on locum availability.

Weekend Locum Program

The weekend initiative provides weekend relief so rural physicians may work emergency department shifts of a frequency no greater than one-in-four weekends.

Seniors' Weekend Locum Program

The Seniors' Weekend Locum Program gives senior rural physicians the option to decrease or eliminate weekend hospital call. Local physicians have the first option to pick up the extra call or the Weekend Rural Locum Program provides weekend coverage.

This option is available for physicians who:

  • are older than 54 years of age;
  • have practiced in rural Alberta more than nine years; and,
  • practice in communities with fewer than 16 physicians

    For more information please contact:

    Alberta Medical Association
    Mr. Barry Brayshaw 
    Director, Physician Locum Services
    Telephone: (780) 482-2626 or toll free 1-800-272-9680
    Fax (780) 482-5445

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