Swift Current is set to be included in an advantageous program for nursing.
The Nursing Loan Forgiveness Plan is set to expand to a host of Saskatchewan municipalities, with Swift Current being on that shortlist.
The goal is to get healthcare into rural communities that need the extra staff while offering medical personnel a good reason to continue their careers in Saskatchewan while they are paying down their debts.
Saskatchewan Minister of Health and Swift Current MLA, Everett Hindley, believes that the expansion of the program into Swift Current should help with the existing staffing shortages in local facilities.
"You've heard me talk about the importance of our healthcare system and doing everything we can to try to recruit, retain and incentivize trained healthcare workers in our community," said Hindley. "We want to be able to be using every tool that we have in our toolbox to help ensure that we are getting these healthcare workers hired, that we're filling these vacancies, that we're getting people into these communities, and that includes in Swift Current."
The maximum amount that the program will forgive is $20,000 over five years. The program does require the individual to work in the designated rural or remote area and is only applicable for Saskatchewan Student Loans.
This means that the program only works towards nurses who have been invested in by the province. This will not be a program that sees the provincial government paying into private loans.
In order to qualify, an applicant must have 12 months (one year) under their belt working in a rural community. After they cross that 12-month line, they need to have submitted their application form within 90 days.
"It's with any of these incentive programs we always keep a close eye on them," said Hindley. "We have to design a program that has parameters in place. That's just the nature of it. But if there's something that we feel that perhaps needs to be tweaked or changed to make it perhaps a bit more effective, or allow for more people to be able to qualify for that program, we'll take a look at it."
For a full view of the program, interested parties can look here.
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