More Health Care Workers on Track to Join Saskatchewan’s Health Care System
January 26, 2023
Saskatchewan continues to make progress in attracting and recruiting health care workers from home and abroad as part of the province’s Health Human Resources (HHR) Action Plan to recruit, train, incentivize and retain health care professionals.
“Sustained work continues under the four pillars of Saskatchewan’s ambitious HHR Action Plan, and I am pleased to see steady progress in all areas of focus,” Health Minister Paul Merriman said. “As we start a new year, I look forward to more actions to build on the successes we have had so far. It’s important we continue to spread the word that Saskatchewan is an outstanding place to build and grow your health care career.”
Registered Nurses (RNs) from the Philippines who received conditional offers have begun working their way through the RN Pathway which includes language, bridging education and licensing. A full staff complement of health recruitment and retention navigators are now in place and have sent a survey to over 1,000 participants who attended in-person sessions in Manila to learn more about their experience. These navigators will assist all potential international recruits with the steps and processes needed to gain employment in Saskatchewan’s health care system.
Progress also continues in creating more permanent full-time positions and attracting health professionals to high priority positions in rural and remote areas across Saskatchewan. The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) has hired more than half of the new full-time and enhanced part-time to full-time permanent positions posted, with over 90 of those positions now filled.
Since its introduction last fall, progress has been made in approving a total of 31 Saskatchewan Rural and Remote Recruitment Incentive packages to a variety of professionals including Registered Nurses, Medical Lab Technologists, and Combined Lab and X-Ray Technologists. These one-time incentive packages are available in 52 Saskatchewan communities for up to $50,000 for a three-year return-of-service agreement for nine eligible health professions.
“It’s encouraging to see our competitive Rural and Remote Recruitment Incentive financial packages are generating interest and we are making progress in attracting health care candidates in rural and northern communities throughout Saskatchewan,” Rural and Remote Health Minister Everett Hindley said. “Our province has a lot to offer to those interested in training and working in health care, from recent graduates to experienced health professionals. These health professionals will begin a new job and build their career within these communities, and will also grow strong connections and enhance their lives with the rewarding experiences Saskatchewan communities of all sizes have to offer.”
More opportunities are available to connect nursing graduates with job offers. Of the 78 graduates from the December cohort, 68 students have submitted their expression of interest to the SHA for the Grad Nurse Expression of Interest initiative that matches graduates with an area based on skills and preferences. As of January 18, 2023, 29 students have accepted conditional job offers.
The HHR Action Plan is also advancing First Nations and Métis recruitment and retention initiatives. The Indigenous Birth Support Worker program, a partnership between the Saskatchewan Health Authority and The Gabriel Dumont Institute, is offering 12 seats for an eight-week program commencing March 2023. Recruitment and retention engagement sessions with a number of First Nations, Tribal Councils and Métis Nation-Saskatchewan were held in November, December and January.
Progress continues under each of the four pillars of Saskatchewan’s Health Human Resources Action Plan.
Recruitment of health care professionals from the Philippines:
- To date, over 160 job offers have been made to Filipino health care workers including Registered Nurses (RNs), Continuing Care Assistants (CCAs) and Medical Lab Assistants. One CCA started working and settled in Moose Jaw in December.
- RN’s with conditional offers are now moving through the RN Pathway which includes language, bridging education and licensing.
- A full staff complement of health system navigators have sent a survey to over 1,000 participants who attended in-person sessions in Manila to learn more about their experience and promote navigation services now available.
- The Ministry of Advanced Education is working with post-secondary partners on further collaboration with Philippines nursing programs following the recent mission to the country.
- The advertising campaign featuring health care professionals who have built a successful career in Saskatchewan continues into the winter with a testimonial from Maria, a Registered Nurse originally from the Philippines.
- The next segment of the campaign focusing on health career opportunities for Saskatchewan students will be launched soon.
Unlicensed Internationally Educated Health Care Professionals (IEHPs) residing in Saskatchewan/Canada:
- The SHA has extended conditional offers to nine Saskatchewan-based RNs who are participating in the bridging education program.
- The Ministry of Health has received more than 600 applications from internationally educated health care workers: over 500 from Saskatchewan and 100 from other provinces. These applicants will be provided information on available supports and job opportunities.
Connections with Indigenous Technical Institutes (SIIT):
- SIIT has expanded the Health Care Aid Program in Prince Albert with an additional 20 seats to be added in the winter semester.
Training Pathways for High School Students:
- The Ministry of Advanced Education continues to work with the Ministry of Education to distribute material to K-12 students regarding inter-provincial training opportunities and careers.
SHA health student events:
- Job Shadow opportunities are available for high school students (Grade 12) or adults considering a career in health care.
- Various volunteer opportunities are offered to students older than 14 across the province.
Improve job offers and connections for nursing graduates:
- Of the 78 graduates from the Saskatchewan December cohort, 68 students have submitted their expression of interest to the SHA for the Grad Nurse Expression of Interest initiative that matches graduates with an area based on skills and preferences.
- As of January 18, 2023, 29 students have accepted their conditional job offers.
- The SHA developed and distributed further social media content targeting nursing students across the country highlighting incentives available. Twenty-nine candidates from outside the province have expressed interest and the SHA is following up to complete screening/interviews.
Rural and Remote Recruitment Incentive (RRRI):
- Up to $50,000 incentive for a three-year return-of-service agreement is available to new employees in nine high priority positions in rural and remote areas.
- For a complete listing of eligibility criteria and eligible locations, visit saskatchewan.ca/HHR.
- Since launching in October 2022, 31 incentives have been approved for the following occupations: Registered Nurse, Licensed Practical Nurse, Continuing Care Assistant, Combined Lab & X-ray Technician, Medical Laboratory Technologist and Medical Radiation Technologist in North Battleford, Wilkie, Indian Head, Moose Jaw, Redvers, Outlook, Lloydminster, Prince Albert, Meadow Lake, La Ronge, Leader, Kamsack, Estevan, Swift Current and Weyburn.
Final Clinical Placement Bursary:
- To date, $210,000 in bursaries have been paid out to Saskatchewan students in 2022-23.
First Nations and Métis Recruitment and Retention:
- The Indigenous Birth Support Worker program, a partnership between the Saskatchewan Health Authority and The Gabriel Dumont Technical Institute, is offering 12 seats for an 8 week program commencing March 2023.
- Recruitment and retention engagement sessions with a number of tribal Councils, First Nations/Métis Saskatchewan were held in November, December and January.
New Full-Time and Enhanced Part-Time to Full-Time Permanent Positions:
- As of January 11, the SHA has hired 92 of the 164 positions posted in nine high-priority classifications in rural and remote locations experiencing service disruptions.
Saskatchewan’s HHR Action Plan announced in September 2022 will invest over $60 million and add more than 1,000 health professionals into the health system over the next few years. Details on health care opportunities, how to access them and more information on province’s Health Human Resources Action Plan are available at saskatchewan.ca/HHR.
Health system navigators are available to support all international health care workers with seeking health care career opportunities. They can be contacted by email at HHR@health.gov.sk.ca for assistance.
For more information, contact: