Legislative Report
(19 October 2010)

Keeping Our Promise to Hire More Nurses

Please note that during the Saskatoon Northwest by-election, no new Legislative Reports were uploaded to my website in keeping with Legislative Assembly guidelines. This is my first Legislative Report since the by-election was announced.

Our government announced this week that we kept another important campaign promise that has a direct impact on the health of your family. We have not only met our goal to hire 800 more nurses in our first term, we have actually surpassed it. With 830 more nurses working across the province, you and your family will have quicker access to quality health care. We know there is still more work to do. That’s why we will continue our partnership with Saskatchewan Union of Nurses so that we can fulfill the hiring targets of health regions across the province. Together, we are working towards achieving the common goal of a stable, sustainable health care system that is patient and family centered and provides Saskatchewan people with safe, high quality health services.

Our government will continue to take action to keep nurses in Saskatchewan, including:

  • Finding ways to keep nurses in the workplace longer;
  • Improve nurse/patient ratios; increase the use of nurse practitioners;
  • Establish a mechanism to make it easier for Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) to become RNs;
  • Focus on prevention and promote wellness by using nurses in new roles.
  • Increase training seats;
  • Ensure new graduates are offered full time permanent employment; and
  • Expand professional development and conduct patient exit surveys.
Since 2007, improving access to health care has been a priority for our government. Aside from hiring 830 more nurses, we have also been working to recruit and retain more physicians in both urban and rural communities across Saskatchewan. Under the NDP, there were only 60 seats in the province to train doctors. Under our government, we have committed to adding 40 new undergraduate training seats and 60 new residency training seats. We have also created a Sask-based program to assess foreign-trained physicians and we are negotiating physician agreements that ensure competitive wages with other provinces. The former NDP government campaigned on a promise to add 500 more doctors, nurses and support workers over four years – this never happened.

Our government has also committed to reducing surgical wait times to no more than three months within four years, made significant progress on reducing existing wait lists, increased autism funding by $2.5 million, and provided $200 million for the province’s first-ever Children’s Hospital – a promise made, but not kept, by the NDP. There is still much work to be done and our government will continue to take action that will benefit Saskatchewan families.

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

Past Legislative Reports