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Significant Budget Investments Support Continued Progress on Saskatchewan's Health Human Resources Action Plan

Released on April 11, 2024

The Government of Saskatchewan continues to build on the successful foundation of the province's Health Human Resources (HHR) Action Plan by investing over $141 million in this year's budget.

"Continued investment into our ambitious HHR Action Plan ensures Saskatchewan remains an attractive place for health care professionals to live and work," Health Minister Everett Hindley said. "I am pleased to see steady progress being made on multiple initiatives to recruit, train, incentivize and retain more health professionals, strengthen health care teams and deliver improved patient care to residents in communities across the province." 

Physician Recruitment and Retention

Several new incentives are available to support recruitment and retention of specialists in high demand:

  • An incentive package for anesthesia, which includes a relocation grant, as well as an annual incentive of $200,000 over five years for regional service and $100,000 over five years for urban service; 
  • An incentive of $200,000 over five years for regional service for psychiatry; and 
  • An incentive of $200,000 over five years for breast and interventional radiology in approved sites. 

An enhanced Rural Physician Incentive of up to $200,000 over five years has been offered since April 2023 to physicians who practice in rural and remote communities. To date, 256 potentially eligible applications have been received, and 118 of these have been approved for payment.   


Work continues on the implementation of the 550-seat training expansion that began in 2023 in critical health training programs. As of January 2024, approximately 80 per cent of the new seats were made available for the 2023-24 academic year, with more becoming available this year. 

Further investments in this year's budget will support an additional 66 seats distributed across six training programs, including Registered Nursing, Registered Psychiatric Nursing and critical interprovincial training programs: Cardiology Technology, Diagnostic Cardiac Sonography, Nuclear Medicine Technology and Environmental Public Health. Also, four new health training programs will be added in Saskatchewan: Occupational Therapy, Speech Language Pathology, Physician Assistant and Respiratory Therapy.

A $1.5 million investment this year will support a new incentive for encouraging students enrolled in health care training programs in other provinces where Saskatchewan has invested in specific training seats to come home. The incentive will provide up to $15,000 per year of study for up to two years, in exchange for a three-year return-of-service agreement to work in Saskatchewan.

The number of undergraduate seats at the College of Medicine will increase from 104 to 108 for the fall 2024 intake, while postgraduate residency seats will increase from 128 to 140. Eight of these seats are targeted to urban family medicine and will be implemented by 2025. The other four are targeted to specialty seats, such as the new Anesthesia and Dermatology seats in Regina. The College posted 135 seats in the 2024 residency match, which is currently underway.

Rural and Northern Health Care

"Our government has made it a priority to stabilize and strengthen health care in rural, regional and northern communities across the province, and ensure residents in these areas have access to important health services as close to home as possible," Mental Health and Addictions, Seniors and Rural and Remote Health Minister Tim McLeod said.  

This year's key HHR Action Plan investments include $33.8 million to stabilize rural and remote staffing. To date, 232 of 250 targeted new and enhanced full-time positions have been filled in rural and remote areas.

The Rural and Remote Recruitment Incentive will receive $8.7 million to continue to fill hard-to-recruit positions. The program has seen great success, with 305 incentives provided so far through this program. 

This year, eight more seats will be added to the Saskatchewan International Physician Practice Assessment (SIPPA) program in addition to the 45 seats currently within the program, to help bring more physicians to regional, rural and northern communities. More than 300 physicians are currently practicing in the province thanks to SIPPA.

Additional HHR Progress Updates  

  • 1,097 nursing graduates from Saskatchewan and out-of-province have been hired since December 2022. 
  • 225 internationally educated health professionals from the Philippines have arrived in Saskatchewan and 135 of these, the majority nurses, are now working in communities across the province.
  • The Final Clinical Placement Bursary, assisting students preparing for a career in health care saw a high level of interest with 196 applications approved for payment as of March 31, 2024.
  • The Saskatchewan Healthcare Recruitment Agency has participated in eight provincial, three national and two international recruitment events and hosted seven virtual recruitment events.

For details on health care opportunities and the province's HHR Action Plan, visit


For more information, contact:

Media Relations
Phone: 306-787-4083

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