The Newfoundland and Labrador government is putting $2.5 million towards having more doctors in rural communities.

A deal between the province and the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association (NLMA) will see the money used for signing bonuses when physicians agree to set up practices in remote areas.

The program will provide one-time signing bonuses to eligible general practitioners and specialists who establish full-time practices for three years in specified communities.

The size of the bonus will range between $50,000 and $90,000, depending on how rural the community is, and how difficult the position has been to fill.

The program will target physicians from Newfoundland and Labrador, or physicians from other Canadian jurisdictions who had trained at Memorial University.

"Medical students and residents from Newfoundland and Labrador are in high demand across North America," said Wendy Graham, president-elect of the NLMA.

"This means we have to offer better incentives that we know will influence their decision to stay and practice in the province."

Health and Community Services Minister Paul Davis said that ensuring access to physicians in all regions of the province remains a key priority for the provincial government.