Released on February 23, 2023
Further Planning Underway as the Province Continues Efforts to Attract Health Care Workers
Saskatchewan continues to take bold actions to advance its ambitious Health Human Resources (HHR) Action Plan to recruit, train, incentivize and retain health care professionals.
"The approach we've taken to stabilize and steadily grow our health care workforce under the HHR Action Plan is seeing tangible results, as new workers begin to arrive in our province and others participate in bridging programs," Health Minister Paul Merriman said. "The recent commitment to increase training capacity will open up exciting new health career options for hundreds more Saskatchewan students."
The province recently announced a significant expansion in educational opportunities for Saskatchewan students and young adults interested in health careers. An initial investment of more than $5.5 million will create over 550 new post-secondary training seats across 18 health care training programs.
Progress continues on recruitment of health care professionals from the Philippines, with Registered Nurses (RNs) who received conditional offers now moving through the RN Pathway which includes language, bridging education and licensing. Fifteen RNs are in the bridging program, with the next intake planned for early March. Four Continuing Care Assistants have arrived and are working in Moose Jaw (one), Swift Current (one) and Eastend (two). Two Medical Laboratory Assistants recently arrived and will begin working in Regina in early March.
"We're working to ensure our process for internationally educated health care professionals to work and move to Saskatchewan is one of the best in the country, while continuing to improve job offers and connections for our own graduates," Merriman said.
The SHA has been actively promoting employment opportunities to nursing graduates and has been offering in-person career events throughout February, with more sessions scheduled in March and April. Following the launch of the Grad Nurse Expression of Interest initiative in December 2022 and subsequent social media outreach, 72 Nursing Graduates from Saskatchewan and out of province have been hired.
The Ministry of Health's Final Clinical Placement Bursary has seen the highest uptake in years and exceeded this year's goals, with 145 bursaries for over $230,000 approved to date in 2022-23. This bursary is offered to Saskatchewan students in eligible health disciplines to support them with their final clinical placement requirements. Applications remain open until March 1, 2023 for further candidates.
The Rural and Remote Recruitment Incentive of up to $50,000 for a three-year return-of-service agreement continues to accept applications. Since launching last fall, the program has seen success with a total of 56 incentive packages approved to date in a variety of professions and locations. These one-time incentive packages are available in 52 Saskatchewan communities for nine high priority health professions.
"I'm very pleased to see a high level of interest in our Final Clinical Placement Bursary, with many students applying for placements in rural areas," Rural and Remote Health Minister Everett Hindley said. "It's also encouraging that our Rural and Remote Recruitment Incentive packages continue to generate interest. Our innovative, bold solutions under the four pillars of our HHR Action Plan will build a stronger, more resilient health system both for our valued health care workers and patients across Saskatchewan."
Steady progress continues under each of the four pillars of Saskatchewan's Health Human Resources Action Plan.
Recruitment of health care professionals from the Philippines:
- To date, over 170 job offers have been made to Filipino health care workers including Registered Nurses (RNs), Continuing Care Assistants (CCAs) and Medical Lab Assistants.
- RNs with conditional offers are now moving through the RN Pathway which includes language, bridging education and licensing. Fifteen are in the bridging program, with the next intake planned for early March.
- One CCA started working in Moose Jaw in December. Three additional CCAs arrived in Saskatchewan early February and will be working in Eastend (two) and Swift Current (one). Two Medical Laboratory Assistants recently arrived and will be working in Regina.
Health System Navigators:
- The Ministry of Health Navigator Team received more than 800 intake forms from Internationally Educated Health Professionals in the Philippines. The team has received and responded to 65 inquiries and conducted a number of meetings with prospective internationally educated nurses to provide guidance on relocating and working in Saskatchewan.
- An advertising/marketing campaign is underway for the fall admission of the recently announced new 550 post-secondary training seats in 18 health care training programs.
- The advertising campaign featuring health care professionals who have built a successful career in Saskatchewan continues with the testimonial of Maria, a Registered Nurse originally from the Philippines.
Unlicensed Internationally Educated Health care Professionals (IEHPs) residing in Saskatchewan/Canada:
- The SHA has extended conditional offers to nine Saskatchewan-based RNs who are participating in the bridging education program.
- The Ministry of Health has received applications and reached out to more than 600 internationally educated health care workers residing in Saskatchewan and other provinces.
- The SHA has hired eight Ukrainian newcomers into the health care workforce.
Health Care Training Seat Expansion:
- The province recently announced a significant expansion in educational opportunities for Saskatchewan students and young adults interested in health careers. An initial investment of more than $5.5 million will create over 550 new post-secondary training seats across 18 health care training programs.
Training Pathways for High School Students:
- The Ministry of Advanced Education has been promoting upcoming domestic and inter-provincial training programs via social media and through the Ministry of Education.
- SHA health student events:
- Job Shadow opportunities are available for high school students (Grade 12) or adults considering a career in health care.
- Various volunteer opportunities are offered to students older than 14 across the province. This provides young people with a chance to experience health care settings which may help them consider a future role in health care.
Improve job offers and connections for nursing graduates:
- Following the launch of the Grad Nurse Expression of Interest initiative in December 2022 and subsequent social media outreach, 72 Nursing Graduates from Saskatchewan and out of province have been hired.
- The SHA is actively promoting employment opportunities and has been offering
in-person career events throughout February, with more sessions scheduled in March and April.
Rural and Remote Recruitment Incentive (RRRI):
- The incentive of up to $50,000 for a three-year return-of-service agreement continues to accept applications.
- This incentive is available to new employees in nine high priority positions in rural and remote areas. For a complete listing of eligibility criteria and eligible locations, visit saskatchewan.ca/HHR.
- Since launching in October 2022, 56 incentives have been approved tp date in a variety of professions and locations.
Final Clinical Placement Bursary:
- 145 bursaries have been approved to support students in health disciplines with their final clinical placement requirements, the highest since 2014-15. To date, over $230,000 in bursaries have been paid out to Saskatchewan students in 2022-23. Applications are still open until March 1, 2023.
First Nations and Métis Recruitment and Retention:
- The SHA has completed engagement with First Nations and Métis communities and educational institutions, and work is progressing with the First Nations and Métis recruitment and retention strategy.
New Full-Time and Enhanced Part-Time to Full-Time Permanent Positions:
- As of February 17, the SHA has hired almost 100 of the 164 positions posted in nine high-priority classifications in rural and remote locations experiencing service disruptions.
Saskatchewan's HHR Action Plan announced in September 2022 will invest over $60 million and add more than 1,000 health professionals into the health system over the next few years. Details on health care opportunities, how to access them and more information on province's Health Human Resources Action Plan are available at saskatchewan.ca/HHR.
Health system navigators are available to support all international health care workers seeking healthcare career opportunities. They can be contacted by email at HHR@health.gov.sk.ca for assistance.
For more information, contact:Media Relations