July 18, 2018

Provincial Physician Recruitment Agency Moving to Saskatchewan Health Authority

Saskatchewan is taking steps to ensure that access to physician services continues to be a high priority, particularly in rural and remote communities.

The Physician Recruitment Agency of Saskatchewan will transition to the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) on July 23.  The agency focuses on recruitment and retention of physicians and health care professionals in Saskatchewan and uses the saskdocs and HealthCareersinSask websites as tools to connect them with current opportunities in the province.

This transition will build on saskdocs’ good work, helping align recruitment efforts with the SHA’s physician resource planning and ensure that physicians are practising in communities where they are most needed.

To facilitate continuity and ongoing connections with key partners, a number of current board members will have the opportunity to continue serving in an advisory capacity following the transfer - a further example of the province’s commitment to recruitment and retention efforts.

“People in rural, northern, and urban communities throughout the province continue to have better access to physician care,” Rural and Remote Health Minister Greg Ottenbreit said.  “The efforts of saskdocs, along with other recruitment and retention initiatives introduced by our government, have resulted in 900 more licensed doctors and 3,700 more nurses in Saskatchewan than in 2007.”

There will also be a continued focus on retention and recruitment of other valued health professionals.  The transfer will include Health Careers in Saskatchewan, which focuses on recruitment of other health professionals and is also operated by the agency.  Future doctors and health professionals will continue to see the saskdocs and Health Careers in Saskatchewan names, as they find employment in the province.

The strength of saskdocs has been its member organizations, including:

  • Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association;
  • Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities;
  • College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan;
  • Saskatchewan Health Authority;
  • Saskatchewan Medical Association;
  • medical residents and students;
  • Ministry of Immigration and Career Training; and
  • Ministry of Health.

“We are pleased to welcome these staff into our organization to ensure a more consistent, co-ordinated approach to recruitment,” SHA Chief Executive Officer Scott Livingstone said.  “With this move, the SHA will be better positioned to ensure the people we serve receive high-quality and timely care regardless of where they live.”

The transfer follows a review of the agency, which was recommended by the Advisory Panel on Health System Structure in 2016.