Rural Physician Incentive Program
The Rural Physician Incentive Program (RPIP) has actively supported physicians providing health services to rural and remote communities since 2012.
Starting April 1, 2023, an enhanced Rural Physician Incentive Program will be offered to physicians practising in rural Saskatchewan. The total incentive will be up to $200,000 over five years -- more than four times the amount that was previously offered.
1. Program Overview
RPIP will continue to incentivize physicians to provide service to rural and remote communities. RPIP now provides an incentive of up to $200,000 over five years to family physicians practising, or returning to practise, in rural and remote communities in Saskatchewan. This program applies to physicians who:
- have initiated rural or remote practice after April 1, 2018;
- are practising in eligible rural or remote communities; and
- meet all eligibility requirements.
Eligibility will be determined on an annual basis. Eligible physicians will receive their incentive once they have completed the given year of service.
To be eligible for the incentive, physician applicants must meet all the following criteria:
- Be new to rural or remote practice in Saskatchewan, with a rural or remote practice start date of April 1, 2018, or later. This may include family physicians who are/have:
- New to practise.
- Moving from larger (ineligible) communities.
- Moving from other provinces and countries.
- Been assessed through the Saskatchewan International Physician Practice Assessment (SIPPA) program.
- Hold an active licence with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan.
- Have provided service during at least 10 of the previous 12 months of each service year with a minimum of 100 days of service provided annually.
- Must be practising in eligible rural and remote communities in Saskatchewan.
Excluded from program eligibility are:
- Regina, Saskatoon and bedroom communities of:
- Balgonie, Emerald Park, Langham, Lumsden, Martensville, Pilot Butte, Warman and White City.
- Communities with regional hospitals, as per the Facility Designation Regulations, which include:
- Lloydminster, Moose Jaw, North Battleford, Prince Albert, Swift Current and Yorkton.
- Telemedicine/virtual care practices located outside of the eligible community (i.e. providing virtual care services from an ineligible community to a rural community).
- Physicians who have previously received RPIP with a practice start date prior to April 1, 2018.
The enhanced RPIP program is effective April 1, 2023. Physicians on the previous program will be bridged to the new program pending application. Payments starting at Year 1 of the new RPIP program will be made throughout the 2023-24 fiscal year (April 1, 2023 to March 31, 2024). The RPIP incentive is available once in the lifetime practice of a physician. Please note all applicants must meet the above eligibility criteria in a given year to be considered for RPIP. Eligibility in a given year does not guarantee eligibility in any other year, nor does it guarantee that the program will not be subject to change prior to participants completing all years of service and receiving payment for any of those years under RPIP.
Payment of the incentive may be made to qualifying physicians at the end of each year of practice according to the following breakdown:
|Year 1||Year 2||Year 3||Year 4||Year 5|
Adjudication of the program will be made by saskdocs.
- Physicians are required to submit an application annually. This should be done at the beginning of each year of practice.
- The start date for the calculation of the incentive will be the date that the physician commenced their year of practice in an eligible community. Applications are adjudicated after 12 months of service are complete (adjusted for any approved leaves).
- The eligibility date for each year of RPIP may be adjusted if the physician takes an approved leave from practice during the year (e.g. parental/health/training leaves). Other leaves resulting in a gap in practice would be adjudicated on an individual basis by saskdocs and the Ministry of Health.
- The incentive may be pro-rated for practice that is less than full-time over the 12-month period. Physicians providing visiting or locum services will receive pro-rated payment based on time worked in an eligible rural or remote community as reported by the Saskatchewan Health Authority, Northern Medical Services and/or Saskatchewan Medical Association. (e.g. Physician works half time during their first 12 months of practice. The incentive would be $15,000 x 0.5 = $7,500 for that year.)
- The full 12 months of each year of service must be completed to receive the RPIP retention incentive. No payments will be made if fewer than 10 of the 12 months are considered complete.
- Payments are made at the end of each completed year of service if all eligible criteria are met.