Access to doctors has improved within the province.
According to the provincial government, a total of 40 new family doctors are now practising in Saskatchewan.
The increase in doctors includes recent graduates from the University of Saskatchewan. The province said retention rates of local family medicine graduates has jumped by 17 per cent over the past three years to 75 per cent.
“I’m very pleased that these local medical graduates have decided to practise in Saskatchewan,” said Greg Ottenbreit, the rural and remote health minister, in a news release Monday.
Additionally, 10 new international medical graduates (IMGs) are practising in the province. The Saskatchewan International Physician Practice Assessment is a unique program that assesses IMGs on their education and clinical ability before allowing them to practise medicine.
The program began in 2011. More than 190 new family physicians have completed the assessment and are currently practising in the province.
“Internationally-trained physicians also play a vital role in our health system, and we welcome them to our province,” Ottenbreit said.
“Thanks to the increased investments by our government in both homegrown and internationally-trained doctors, we now have nearly 650 more physicians practising today than we did nine years ago.”
One of the ways Saskatchewan is working to recruit and retain doctors is by offering competitive compensation packages.
The number of post-graduate physician training seats at the College of Medicine has doubled to 120 seats and the Rural Family Physician Incentive Program provides recent graduates with up to $120,000 over five years if they set up a practice in a community with fewer than 10,000 people.