On Wednesday, the province released further details on its four-point action plan to recruit, train, incentivize, and retain healthcare workers, including nurses and physicians.
Over the next several years, the government of Saskatchewan will invest over $60 million in this four-point action plan.
"Bolstering our healthcare workforce through competitive recruitment efforts is a top priority for our government, and we are expanding on our four-point plan to recruit, train, incentivize and retain healthcare providers to stabilize and steadily grow the provincial workforce," Minister of Health Paul Merriman said. "We will be actively marketing Saskatchewan both within and beyond our provincial borders to ensure people here at home, across Canada and globally know Saskatchewan is a great place to find healthcare opportunities, build your career and enjoy a high quality of life."
Saskatchewan will look to recruit hundreds of healthcare workers over the next two years from abroad and newcomers looking to get into the healthcare sector.
A provincial call is being put out to unlicensed internationally educated healthcare professionals (IEHPs) and others with healthcare experience currently living in the province, and Canada, who may be eligible for training or employment to join Saskatchewan’s healthcare workforce.
Saskatchewan has become the first province in Canada to bring in accelerated training, assessment, and licensure pathway for internationally educated nurses.
Additional programs will be identified within post-secondary partners to ensure needs are met. Also, 150 nursing seats have been added to the province’s registered nurses, registered psychiatric nurses, and nurse practitioner education programs.
A new incentive program will be launched that will provide up to $50,000 over the next three years towards recruitment in rural or remote areas.
Also, the government will launch three financial incentives for the healthcare sector. These include the Student Loan Forgiveness Program, Graduate-Retention Program, and the Final Clinical Placement Bursary.
Saskatchewan has a plan in place to try and train healthcare staff within the province.
100 new permanent full-time positions will be added and 150 part-time positions will be converted to full-time permanent positions for high-demand professions in rural and remote areas. The SHA will work with partners to develop a First Nations and Métis recruitment and retention strategy.
A new, independent Saskatchewan Healthcare Recruitment Agency (SHRA) has been formally established with an initial Board consisting of the Deputy Minister of Health and the SHA's Interim CEO.
An information campaign is planned for this fall to promote career opportunities, as well as incentive, retention and financial support programs for healthcare workers.