As Saskatchewan struggles with an ongoing shortage of health-care workers, two agencies are about to embark on a national tour to promote employment opportunities in the province.
From Sept. 22 through Oct. 6, the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) and the newly established Saskatchewan Healthcare Recruitment Agency will be sending a delegation to Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland.
According to a release from the provincial government, the goal of the tour is “to promote employment opportunities, benefits and incentives available in the province.”
The delegation will be meeting with health-care workers, students and post-secondary schools in the five provinces, including two large career fairs and multiple meet-and-greet events in centres including Toronto, Montreal, St. John’s, Charlottetown and Halifax.
The Saskatchewan government said current trends show that young adults, families and new graduates are interested in moving to or returning to the province as they seek out affordable living, opportunities for full-time work and higher pay.
Health Minister Everett Hindley said there has never been a better time to come to Saskatchewan for work in the health-care field.
“As part of our recruitment efforts, we will continue to promote our province as the great place it is, offering a lower cost of living, excellent wages and benefits, plus strong health care teams and wonderful communities to join,” Hindley said in a statement.
Health Human Resources plan hits one-year milestone
September marks the first anniversary of Saskatchewan’s $60-million Health Human Resources Action Plan, the aim of which was to add 1,000 health-care workers to the workforce over the next few years.
Tim McLeod, Saskatchewan’s minister of mental health and addictions, said the plan “has achieved remarkable success” since it first launched, with hundreds of new workers already hired.
“Saskatchewan is a place of great opportunity with hundreds more educational training seats added; financial loans, bursaries and scholarships available to students; competitive incentive packages for rural and remote locations, and many other avenues to build on your health care career,” McLeod said in a statement.
The government shared a number of highlights from the plan so far, including 411 conditional offers extended to internationally educated nurses. Of those, 119 are now involved in the “bridging” program to ensure their training and skills are up to speed with Saskatchewan’s standards.
Since December of 2022, the SHA has hired 637 new nursing graduates, from Saskatchewan and beyond.
The province has focused much of its recruitment effort on the Philippines, including a special recruitment trip. Those efforts have been fruitful, with 19 continuing care aids and two medical lab assistants from that country now working in Saskatchewan.
The Ministry of Health added that the $50,000 Rural and Remote Recruitment Incentive has been popular thus far, with 137 incentives conditionally approved for 54 different communities around the province.
More information on the plan and health-care incentives and opportunities can be found on the provincial government’s website.