Legislative Report
(17 March 2010)

Addressing The Physician Shortage

Currently in Saskatchewan there are too few physicians, especially outside the major centres.

Increasing training options for medical students is one way to address that problem.

Our government recently announced a $2 million investment in the Saskatchewan Academic Health Sciences Network (SAHSN) to enhance training for health sciences students and to assist in meeting our province’s need for physicians and nurses. Under the new plan, medical students will be able to complete some of their studies in Regina. Studies have shown that physicians who experience a variety of settings, including rural areas, during their training are more likely to work outside the larger centers once they graduate.

This is in addition to several other initiatives by our government to improve access to healthcare, including:

  • Expanded enrollment in the U of S College of Medicine;
  • A new, comprehensive Physician Recruitment Strategy and the establishment of a Physician Recruitment Agency;
  • More training seats for nurses; and
  • The creation of 608 more full-time nursing positions (FTEs) as part of our commitment to create 700 more FTEs by 2011.
Addressing Rural Concerns

Two other recent announcements will also benefit rural Saskatchewan.

Our government is partnering with the federal government to improve the Wildlife Damage Compensation Program. We have expanded the program to include wildlife damage to crops and feed used for swath, bale and corn grazing. This expansion is part of our commitment to giving producers the tools they need to be successful.

Cell phone and internet service in rural Saskatchewan is improving, as the result of a major funding announcement by our government. $48 million of a $239 million investment by SaskTel will be used to keep our promise to increase internet coverage to 100 per cent. It will also go toward the building of 55 new cellular towers that will improve wireless coverage across the province.

Legislative Assembly Decorum

Talking on a cell phone isn’t allowed in the Chambers at the Legislature, but even if it were, it would be a waste of time. Lately, you can’t even hear yourself think. The NDP are more focused on heckling – sometimes even their own members – than actually working for the people of Saskatchewan. It’s not surprising given the background of their leader. Dwain Lingenfelter once said he wanted to make Saskatchewan “ungovernable.” Our government believes in being constructive and taking action to move Saskatchewan forward.

If you have a question about this Legislative Report or any other matter, just Contact Don.

Past Legislative Reports