President's Letter: New Salaried Family Physician Remoteness Bonus Index

President’s Letter: New Salaried Family Physician Remoteness Bonus Index

Dear Colleagues:

The NLMA and the Department of Health and Community Services have finalized a new
Remoteness Index for allocation of additional funding to salaried family physicians in
remote sites.

The physician shortage has demonstrated the difficulty in recruiting to remote sites that
are mainly staffed by salaried family physicians. The Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)
between the NLMA and Provincial Government, included a commitment to develop an
improved compensation system based on a Remoteness Index to help improve
recruitment and retention.

The formula used to differentiate sites included such criteria as commuting time to the
Trans-Canada Highway, greater than 30 minutes travel time to a Category ‘A’ ER,
commuting time to St. John’s and population of the community. Using this formula, the
Remoteness Index has classified communities in two tiers of remoteness.

The annual bonus for positions in Tier 1 communities is $17,000, while positions located in
Tier 2 communities will receive an annual bonus of $11,000. Communities classified as
“not remote” do not qualify for the Remoteness Bonus.

Communities are classified in the following tiers:

• Remoteness Tier 1: Old Perlican, Bonavista, Twillingate, Fogo Island, Bay D’Espoir,
Burgeo, Port-aux-Basques, Lourdes, Norris Point, Jackson’s Arm, Port Saunders, St.
Anthony, Roddickton, Flower’s Cove, Forteau, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Churchill

• Remoteness Tier 2: Bell Island, Placentia, Burin, St. Lawrence, Grand Bank,
Whitbourne, Glovertown, Deer Lake, Stephenville Crossing, Stephenville.

• Not classified as Remote: Holyrood, Carbonear, Clarenville, Gander, Grand FallsWinsor, Corner Brook.

Salaried physicians will continue to receive the Geographic Retention as outlined in
Schedule C (page 41) of the MOA. The new Remoteness Index payments will be made at
the same time as the Retention bonus. The Department of Health will work with the
regional health authorities to operationalize the payout of this funding.

Kris Luscombe