Local health officials are still working to set up western Quebec’s own medical school with the hope of addressing the region’s doctor shortage.

Plans are in the works to operate a satellite medical school for Montreal’s McGill University starting in 2016.

While McGill’s medical school already sends students to the region for internships and residencies, the new plan would include coursework through videoconferencing and partnerships with the Hull hospital and University of Quebec’s Outaouais campus.

Such a plan has been discussed for more than five years.

Dr. Gilles Brousseau authored a feasibility study for the area and said west Quebec is ready for such a school.

He said he looked at other Quebec satellite medical schools in Trois Rivieres and Saguenay and found the majority of students stayed to work in both regions after graduating.

His research also showed 60 per cent of the graduates that stayed became family doctors.

Statistics show around 28,000 people in west Quebec don’t have a family doctor.


Health Minister Réjean Hébert supports the plan, according to the Outaouais health authority. (CBC)

That’s one of the reasons Outaouais Health Agency director Jean Hebert told Radio-Canada the school is needed, saying its impact would be significant.

The provincial government needs to approve the plan, but Hebert said Health Minister Réjean Hébert has so far supported it.