For the first time in 55 years, a new medical school will be opening in Western Canada.
Provincial officials said the school will open on the Simon Fraser University (SFU) Surrey campus and will help increase the number of doctors in the workforce.
“While we have made enormous progress to strengthen public health care over the past five years, we know that many British Columbians are struggling to find a family doctor and waiting too long for care on a waiting list or in an emergency room,” said Premier David Eby in a release.
“That’s why we are taking action to train, recruit and retain family doctors now – and taking these steps with Simon Fraser University to train the health workforce we’ll need in the future.”
The province is investing $4.9 million to help with startup funding including accreditation, curriculum planning, engagement, space planning, and professional staff.
Provincial officials said the medical school will have a focus on First Nations, Inuit, and Métis knowledge systems and perspectives so new doctors are equipped to help all B.C. residents.
Dr. Roger Strasser has been named the interim dean. Strasser was the founding dean and CEO of the Northern Ontario school of medicine.
SFU is planning to have its first student intake by September 2026.
– with files from Josiah Spyker, MyEastKootenayNow.com staff