Released on March 14, 2017
Saskatchewan residents continue to benefit from better access to physicians with the addition of more than 750 new doctors over the past 10 years. This represents a 44 per cent increase in overall physician numbers compared to 2007, and includes a 53 per cent increase in specialists and a 37 per cent increase in general practitioners.
“Our government has shown unwavering commitment to recruit and retain physicians in Saskatchewan,” Health Minister Jim Reiter said. “Physicians play a vital role in Saskatchewan’s health care system, both in serving patients and in providing leadership as we transform the way we deliver health care. I’m pleased with the tremendous progress we’ve made in increasing the number of physicians in Saskatchewan.”
A number of physician recruitment and retention initiatives have resulted in the increase of physicians in Saskatchewan, including:
- a competitive compensation package for physicians;
- doubling post-graduate physician training seats at the College of Medicine to 120, and increasing undergraduate medical education seats from 60 to 100;
- Training more family medicine residents in sites outside Regina and Saskatoon (Prince Albert, Swift Current, La Ronge, North Battleford and Moose Jaw); and
- implementing the Saskatchewan International Physician Practice Assessment (SIPPA), which has resulted in more than 190 additional doctors providing services in the province. This number includes 11 new internationally-trained physicians from the September intake who are practising in Saskatchewan, thanks to the program.
More locally-trained physicians staying in the province after graduation has also helped boost the overall physician supply. Overall, the retention rate of family medicine graduates trained at the University of Saskatchewan has jumped over the past four years – from 58 per cent to 93 per cent. In addition, the growth of internationally-trained physicians has helped to increase the number of physicians.
In total, more than 2,500 physicians are licensed to practise in Saskatchewan.
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