Res #: 15-10A
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Health
WHEREAS urban and rural municipalities are offering financial incentives to attract doctors;
WHEREAS this practice is creating a bidding war between municipalities; and
WHEREAS it is the responsibility of the Provincial Government to recruit doctors;
BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby the Provincial Government to increase recruiting efforts to eliminate the need for municipalities to offer financial incentives to attract doctors.
Response from Honourable Don McMorris, Minister of Health:
To address the issues facing the province in regards to the difficulty of physician recruitment and retention, the Government of Saskatchewan released a physician recruitment strategy in May 2009. The strategy includes a number of initiatives that will increase the number of physicians practising in Saskatchewan. This includes the expansion of the College of Medicine, the establishment of a provincial recruitment agency, a streamlined assessment for foreign trained physicians, and supports for physicians and their families.
The provincial Physician Recruitment Agency will act as a one-stop point of contact for physicians seeking to set up practice in the province. The agency held its first board meeting at the end of March and will be developing its operational and strategic plans over the next few months. We believe that the agency will alleviate the competition between communities and will coordinate recruitment and retention efforts across the province .
We have made a commitment to increase enrolment at the College of Medicine and are on track to implement our commitment of 120 residency positions and 100 undergraduate seats within this term of Government. Part of the expansion of the College of Medicine is a provincial plan for distributive medical education that will see more medical residents trained outside of Saskatoon. Those physicians who receive training in rural communities are more likely to establish their practice in a rural centre. The province has provided $2 million to support the model of distributive education.