The Province of Saskatchewan and its practising doctors have reached a new four-year deal.
The details of this deal include terms that 93 per cent of doctors in the Saskatchewan Medical Association found acceptable, making the vast majority happy to continue working in the province.
Helping argue and compromise to reach this agreement was Swift Current MLA and Minister of Health, Everett Hindley.
"I want to thank our colleagues at the SMA for working with the government on this," said Hindley. "It's really a historic investment in this new agreement to help retain or recruit in Saskatchewan."
This agreement will not only see an annual rate increase (2.4 per cent year-over-year) for physicians but also as Hindley stated, a record-breaking investment for recruitment and retention programs.
Approximately $245 million has been contributed to ensuring Sask. remains a competitive body in the challenging landscape of national and international medical labour landscapes.
"Funding to support long-term retention, parental leave, and continuing medical education," listed Hindley. "These are all things that were identified by physicians across Saskatchewan as being of importance to them. I am grateful that we were able to reach an agreement that addresses all of those items to ensure that we have a contract signed into the years ahead."
For Swift Current and other southwestern Sask. communities, these changes could and should help foster greater growth in medical faculties. New physicians should feel more confident when considering a role in the local health care systems, being that they will have a competitive offer to consider in this new agreement.
"There is still work to do," said Hindley. "As we try to expand health care and make sure that people have access to primary care. That might include family physicians amongst other types of health care providers as well."
"This is important for recruitment and retention of doctors, but ultimately what it also does is help build upon the health care that we do deliver in this province," finished Hindley. "It's another step towards improved access for patients across Saskatchewan."