June 15, 2021

Renewed Agreements Ensure Students Have Access to Specialized Health Care Programs

The Government of Saskatchewan has renewed eight interprovincial agreements (IPAs) with post-secondary institutions in Alberta and British Columbia, creating ongoing opportunities for Saskatchewan students to enroll in high demand health sciences programs that are not available in the province.

"These agreements provide our students with the opportunity to access education in specialized health professions that are important for the province," Advanced Education Minister Gene Makowsky said.  "This collaborative approach with post-secondary institutions in Alberta and British Columbia helps ensure our province continues to deliver high-quality health care to the people of Saskatchewan."

Saskatchewan students enrolled in these programs complete the clinical portion of their training in the province.  This helps ensure students can seamlessly transition into the labour market in the Saskatchewan health care system after graduation.

In 2021-22, the provincial government is investing $2.9 million to secure 106 seats for Saskatchewan learners in eight priority programs that are vital to health care and patient needs.  The number of dedicated seats negotiated through the IPAs with Alberta and British Columbia will grow to 110 by 2024-2025.

"Training and recruiting health care professionals to meet the health needs of our residents is a priority for our government," Health Minister Paul Merriman said.  "We rely on these out-of-province seats to train professionals in short supply to continue providing high-quality care to Saskatchewan citizens."

The renewed agreements include seats in Respiratory Therapy, Nuclear Medicine Technology, Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Occupational Therapy, Cardiovascular Perfusion, Orthotics and Prosthetics, Electro-neurophysiology, and Magnetic Resonance Imaging.  Programs supported under IPAs provide the health care system with a steady supply of qualified health professionals who provide a range of critical medical diagnostic services, operate heart-lung machines during open heart surgeries, and treat patients with respiratory illnesses and physical and mental disabilities in both hospital and community settings.

Students enrolled in these programs are eligible for various financial supports to help fund their education and connect them to careers in the Saskatchewan health system.  Supports include Clinical Placement Bursaries, Return-in-Service Bursaries, the Saskatchewan Advantage Scholarship and the Graduate Retention Program.

For more information about IPAs, visit www.saskatchewan.ca.