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Province Continues to Invest in Health Care Opportunities for Students

The Government of Saskatchewan is actively promoting healthcare training options for students and graduates from the region, a central element of the Health Human Resources (HHR) Action Plan comprising four key points.

In the upcoming academic year 2023-24, the government will be expanding educational opportunities for individuals interested in pursuing a healthcare career. This expansion involves introducing around 550 new training slots across 18 high-demand healthcare professions, as part of a previously announced enlargement. This development comes as an extension to the 150 additional nursing positions that were unveiled in 2022.

According to Health Minister Paul Merriman, “Saskatchewan offers an excellent environment for both training and establishing a healthcare profession. As the new school year approaches, our government remains committed to enhancing the avenues for training a greater number of healthcare professionals locally, thereby aiding in their success.”

New training avenues are now open for Indigenous students as well. These encompass programs such as the Phlebotomy (blood collection) Program and the Indigenous Birth Support Worker Program at the Gabriel Dumont Institute. Furthermore, the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies is increasing the seats available for the Health Care Aid Program in Prince Albert in 2023.

To further elaborate, the College of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan has recently revealed its intention to enlarge the incoming fall 2023 class of medical undergraduates by four seats. This will elevate the total count of seats from 100 to 104, with future plans aiming for 108 seats in the subsequent year.

For domestic students and graduates pursuing a healthcare profession, financial assistance options are accessible. These encompass forgivable loans, bursaries, and incentives for recruitment with the intention of encouraging these professionals to remain in Saskatchewan following their graduation.

Notably, the Final Clinical Placement Bursary program, designed for eligible health disciplines’ students, has witnessed considerable uptake. Since April, a total of 100 bursaries have been granted. Applications for this program will continue to be accepted until September 30, 2023.

In a recent announcement, bursaries have been introduced specifically for students and recent graduates of paramedic programs who commit to joining the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in Saskatchewan.

In addition to these advancements, there are opportunities available through interprovincial training agreements. For instance, Saskatchewan students can access 15 positions in the Speech Language Pathology program at the University of Alberta, along with four positions secured at the British Columbia Institute of Technology in the Environmental Public Health program.

The work continues on various fronts of Saskatchewan’s HHR Action Plan, focusing on the recruitment, training, incentivization, and retention of healthcare workers. Substantial progress has been achieved in pivotal areas of this endeavor.

HHR Progress Update Highlights

  • The Saskatchewan Health Authority has had great success connecting with nursing students and recent graduates to promote employment opportunities. Since December 2022, the SHA has hired more than 560 new graduates from the province and across Canada.  
  • Almost 170 positions are now filled of the 250 new and enhanced permanent full-time positions targeted to stabilize staffing in rural and remote areas of the province.
  • The Rural and Remote Recruitment Incentive of up to $50,000 available to new employees in nine high priority classifications in 53 rural and remote areas continues to see much interest, with nearly 140 incentives conditionally approved to date.
  • In late August, Saskatchewan will begin implementing an accelerated, streamlined pathway for internationally-educated nurses that shortens licensure timeframes from months to 14 weeks. Nurse recruits from abroad will be supported through the process, from recruitment through to their work placements and settlement in a new community. 
  • The first 10 of the 400 Registered Nurses (RNs) with conditional offers from the Philippines arrived to Saskatchewan in July and are participating in clinical training. Once clinical training is complete these RNs will be eligible for licensure and ready to begin working in Saskatchewan’s health system. 
  • Nineteen Continuing Care Assistants (CCAs) and two Medical Laboratory Assistants (MLAs) from the Philippines arrived earlier in 2023 and are working in communities across the province, particularly rural and remote locations. 

Details on health care opportunities, how to access them and more information on the province’s HHR Action Plan are available at

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