Saskatchewan is continuing to take action to advance its Health Human Resources (HHR) Action Plan.
"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," said Health Minister Paul Merriman in a news release. "The recent commitment to increase training capacity will open up exciting new health career options for hundreds more Saskatchewan students."
The province recently announced an 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.
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 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. Applications remain open until March 1, 2023.
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 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.
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.