Budget 2023 will invest almost $200 million to expand post-secondary health care programs to train more than 3,400 additional health care professionals; Opposition says ‘Alberta requires more than just new funding to encourage people to work in healthcare – we need a new government’

News Release

Training more doctors and nurses

Budget 2023 will invest almost $200 million to expand post-secondary health care programs to train more than 3,400 additional health care professionals.

Alberta has the best front-line health care workers in the world. Alberta’s government will work to make sure Albertans can get the care they need when and where they need it. New investments will help train the health care staff the province needs and ensure young Albertans can get into the programs they want, right here at home.

Alberta’s government is investing $72 million over three years to create more than 3,400 new seats in post-secondary health care programs across the province. Alberta’s government is also investing $113 million to add 100 residency training spaces for newly graduated doctors, particularly in rural areas and specialist fields.

“I am excited to announce the creation of more than 3,400 new spaces in health care programs at our universities and colleges. More young Albertans will be able to be trained as doctors and nurses right here in Alberta at our world-class post-secondary institutions.”Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Advanced Education

“Through the Health Workforce Strategy and the many other actions we’re taking, Alberta will build a strong, resilient and sustainable health workforce where its workers are supported to succeed as they provide expert care to improve the lives of Albertans.”Jason Copping, Minister of Health

In Budget 2023, Alberta’s government is working to address the health care challenges the province is facing by:

  • Investing $30 million in health care program expansion to create about 1,800 new seats over the next three years in nursing, health care aide and paramedicine programs.
  • Investing almost $20 million to create 120 new physician seats at the University of Calgary and the University of Alberta.
    • Funding will also help increase the number of rural physicians in Alberta in collaboration with the Ministry of Health.
  • Investing $113 million over three years for medical residency positions to add 100 residency training spaces and fund compensation for academic physicians instructing medical students.
  • Investing $22 million to upskill internationally educated nurses by creating new bridging programs and expanding seats at existing bridging programs to add 1,500 new spaces.
  • Investing $14 million over two years for the targeted recruitment of internationally trained nurses from the United States and the United Kingdom.

Investments through Budget 2023 are commitments identified as part of the Health Workforce Strategy, which lays the foundation for a resilient and sustainable health care system that provides every Albertan with access to a health home, with the workforce in place to deliver the health services Albertans need today and in the future. 

“This investment in our medical schools is a direct investment in the health of Albertans. These dollars will train new physicians, increase opportunities for medical residents and support those who train them, ensuring world-class care in every corner of the province.”Dr. Brenda Hemmelgarn, dean, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Alberta

As part of the health care seat expansion, publicly funded post-secondary institutions will be invited to submit proposals to expand seats in health-related programs. Programs could include registered nurses, health care aides, licensed practical nurses, nursing coordinators and supervisors, paramedical occupations, other medical technologists and technicians.

The physician expansion is expected to increase the number of physician seats available by 58 per cent over 10 years. Through Budget 2023, Advanced Education is investing more than $2 million in 2023-24 to support 20 new physician seats at the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary. An investment of more than $5.8 million will support 60 new seats by 2024-25, and more than $11.6 million will support a total of 120 seats by 2025-26. Of the 120 new seats, 60 new seats will be added to both the University of Calgary and the University of Alberta.

The physician training expansion investment of $113 million over three years is part of the Academic Medicine and Health Services Program, which ensures physicians affiliated with Alberta’s faculties of medicine are compensated for providing patient care along with their work related to research, innovation, education, administration and leadership.

The funds include supports to expand the province’s ability to train more doctors, particularly in regional centres and rural communities, and 30 additional residency positions for international medical graduates who need more training before they can practise in Alberta. Once the seat expansion is fully realized, Alberta will be licensing more than 100 additional physicians annually who will be ready to practise.   

“This funding will help our universities play a major role in health care training. Investing in training of new physicians is part of a larger workforce strategy to improve the health of Albertans. We are proud to be a partner in this endeavour.”Dr. Todd Anderson, dean, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary

In support of internationally educated nurses, Alberta’s government is investing $15 million to support the creation of new bridging programs to add 900 new student spaces. In February, Alberta’s government announced that $7.3 million will be invested to create more than 600 new seats in existing bridging programs at Mount Royal University, Bow Valley College and NorQuest College.

This investment builds on last year’s targeted enrolment expansion which added 2,500 new seats in health-related programs, as well as the recently announced investment of $1 million to explore regional health training centres in Lethbridge and Grande Prairie to support training for physicians in rural areas.

This is another piece of the government’s larger strategy to improve Alberta’s health care system, which includes historic investments in health care and expanding health care programs in the province’s post-secondary system.

Budget 2023 secures Alberta’s future by transforming the health care system to meet people’s needs, supporting Albertans with the high cost of living, keeping our communities safe and driving the economy with more jobs, quality education and continued diversification.

Quick facts

  • $7.3 million will be invested to expand existing nurse bridging programs, creating:
    • 256 new seats for the registered nurse bridging program at Mount Royal University
    • 120 new seats at Bow Valley College for their licensed practical nurse bridging program
    • 250 new seats at NorQuest College for their licensed practical nurse bridging program

Related information


 Press Statement

David Shepherd, Alberta NDP Health Critic, made the following statement regarding the UCP announcement on healthcare post-secondary:


“Alberta requires more than just new funding to encourage people to work in healthcare – we need a new government.


“Fewer doctors and healthcare workers see a future in Alberta under the UCP.


“Additional funding for medical schools is fundamentally important, but today’s announcement does not address that residency positions are going unfilled under the UCP. leadership. 


“The UCP’s war on doctors drove many out of the province, increasing the workload and pressure for the doctors still here, and have made careers in practising medicine far less stable and predictable. Prospective medical students see this chaos and question their future in Alberta. 


“An Alberta NDP government will deliver better healthcare to Albertans by working in partnership with healthcare workers who have experienced the most challenging years of their career and with new students so they see a bright future in Alberta.”




Media contact
Donna Christensen



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