Saskatchewan Examiner

Saskatchewan health-care workers pool their resources and bring their concerns to SMA

Saskatchewan health-care employees get together to bring their issues to SMA.

Key Takeaways:

  • Before the epidemic, healthcare issues were a hot concern, putting additional demand on workers and lengthening wait times.
  • Despite the statistics, another doctor is concerned about rural doctors who buy out their three- to five-year contracts and depart before they expire.
  • Saskatchewan has made the highest investment in health care history, with $5.2 million set aside in the provincial budget for physician contracts and recruitment.

Before the epidemic, healthcare problems were a popular topic, putting additional strain on personnel and increasing wait times.

Saskatchewan is now focusing on attracting and retaining doctors and nurses to alleviate the province’s healthcare needs.

During the Saskatchewan Medical Association’s (SMA) 2022 Spring Representative Assembly, physicians from across the province had the chance to express their concerns regarding the province’s healthcare system (RA).

The discussion spanned surgery wait times to parking issues at Regina General Hospital. Still, the most common question was how to expand staffing and reduce workloads for present physicians and nurses.

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“Our goal is to start by addressing immediate challenges and bring our healthcare system back on track for the future,” said Paul Merriman, Saskatchewan’s Minister of Health.

A Moose Jaw family physician says she has over 800 patients and wonders what the goal is to maintain more physicians in rural regions, given the stress of her job.

“The best person to work in family medicine is someone who has a family here in Saskatchewan, so we want to make sure that we can get those people through the process and then keep them.”

Merriman pointed out that healthcare personnel in the province have an 84 percent retention rate.

Despite the statistics, another doctor expressed concern about rural doctors who buy out their three- to five-year contracts and leave before they expire.

Saskatchewan health-care employees get together to bring their issues to SMA.
Saskatchewan health-care employees get together to bring their issues to SMA. Image from The Columbus dispatch

Meanwhile, another person raised the issue of other services, such as mental health specialists and nurses, being short-staffed.

Saskatchewan’s Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Everett Hindley, addressed the issue, saying, “We have more to recruit and retain in this province… RNs, LPNs, CNAs, and lab technicians…”

With $5.2 million set up for physician contracts as well as recruitment in the provincial budget, Saskatchewan has made the largest investment in health care in its history. Another $1.5 million will be spent to provide incentives for healthcare workers from the Philippines.

On the other hand, Doctors remarked that while the investments are welcome, they are long-term remedies that will not assist them in the coming months.

Source: Global News

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