Notice: Effective March 2020, the Ministry of Health no longer accepts mailed and/or couriered documents related to application-based programs. Only applications that are sent by email to a ministry-designated account or via fax (705-564-7493) will be accepted. Applications that include electronic signatures (such as, scanned original, electronic device applications, or digital) will be accepted in lieu of original, signed documents.


The objective of the Community Assessment Visit Program is to promote the relocation/recruitment of health care professionals to eligible rural and Northern Ontario communities and provide reimbursement for travel and accommodation expenses incurred by health care professionals and their spouse within Ontario for purposes of assessing practice opportunities in an eligible community of the province.


Community eligibility for the Community Assessment Visit Program is based on the Rurality Index for Ontario (RIO) score, a measure of rurality that ensures funding is specifically targeted to northern and very rural communities. The RIO2008_Basic score is derived from three factors:

  • population (count and density)
  • travel time to a basic referral centre
  • travel time to an advanced referral centre

RIO scores are assigned to Statistics Canada census subdivisions (CSDs).

To be eligible to participate in the program, the professional must obtain written approval for the visit from the Northern Health Programs (NHP) office before they visit the community. Health care professionals are encouraged to travel with their spouses (if applicable) during the assessment visit(s). Travel and accommodation expenses for the professional’s spouse will be reimbursed subject to prior written approval from NHP. To be eligible:

  • the professional must hold a valid certificate of registration to practice medicine in Ontario, or be registered with the governing body of Ontario (where such a body exists) of their discipline


  • the professional must show evidence in writing that they are eligible to obtain a certificate of registration, within one year of the visit date, subject to the rules and regulations of the governing body of Ontario of their discipline

During an assessment visit to an eligible community, the health professional must meet with the community representative (or designate), or any other person(s) in the community responsible for the recruitment of health care professionals.


  1. The health professional reviews the list of eligible communities.
  2. The health professional contacts the communities they are interested in to arrange for interviews. Professionals are encouraged to arrange several interviews during the same trip. The number of nights of hotel accommodation reimbursement will be based on the number of interviews and the distance between communities. A second trip to the same area(s) will not be approved.
  3. The health professional is responsible for arranging their own appointments, travel and accommodation for the community assessment visit.
  4. The community contact must submit the health professional’s itinerary, a copy of the health professional’s CV and a letter of invitation from the eligible community in order to obtain written approval from NHP before the health professional makes the trip. Any expenses not approved in writing by NHP before the trip will not be reimbursed. The request should be forwarded to NHP at least one month before the visit is scheduled to take place.

Allowable expenses

Travel and accommodation will be reimbursed by NHP as follows, subject to prior written approval:

  • Health care professionals living outside of Ontario will be reimbursed for travel from the Ontario border if they drive. The kilometric rate reimbursed for the use of a personal vehicle is 41¢/km.
  • If travelling by air, health professionals will be reimbursed up to the amount of full fare from the point of entry into Ontario (Montreal from the east, or Winnipeg from the west), or from Toronto to the Ontario destination. Reimbursement for travel will be calculated on the least possible expensive mode of travel (economy airfare or, where possible, use of a personal vehicle).
  • Accommodations justifiably required to attend scheduled interviews (cost of hotel or motel only). Standard room rate for single occupancy costs unless accompanied by spouse.
  • Private stays with family, friends or colleagues are encouraged. A maximum of $30.00 per night for gratuitous lodging expenses is allowed. No receipt is required.
  • Claims for reimbursement must be submitted to NHP 90 days of the date of travel to be eligible for reimbursement. Claims received after 90 days will not be paid.

Expenses not covered

Travel to Ontario from other provinces or countries, meals, personal long-distance telephone calls, relocation costs and expenses related to children are not reimbursed.

Contact Us

For more information, you can contact the Ministry of Health, Primary Health Care Branch by: