02/25/2013 03:05 EST | Updated 04/27/2013 05:12 EDT

B.C. recruits record number of doctors in 2012 from Canada and around the world

VICTORIA - Health Minister Margaret MacDiarmid says B.C. recruited a record number of doctors last year, and many of them set up practices in rural areas.

She says 268 physicians were drawn to B.C. from across Canada and around the world, a 24 per cent increase over the number recruited in 2011.

Of the new arrivals, 102 doctors will work in rural communities, including 69 in family practice.

In addition to the general practitioners, the new recruits include emergency physicians, psychiatrists, anaesthesiologists, radiologists and pediatricians.

The B.C. government says it's also committed to training more doctors by more than doubling seats for first-year medical students between 2001 and 2014 and expanding the University of B.C.'s medical school to Victoria, Prince George and Kelowna.