The opposition NDP says the Saskatchewan Party government must step up its plan to attract and retain family doctors, whom it calls “the backbone of the provincial health care system.”
An NDP news release notes there was a drop of 82 actively practicing family physicians in the province between 2018-19 and 2020-21. The Saskatchewan Health Authority reports that Saskatoon currently has no family physicians taking new patients.
“We have a Minister of Health pretending that our system is fine while our emergency rooms and hospitals are full to bursting, health care workers are burning out and people across the province have no no access to a doctor,” said Vicki Mowat, of the Opposition Health Critic. “The government needs to put a plan in place before it’s too late.”
The NDP says urgent funding is needed to help family doctors manage overhead costs in offices and clinics. He also wants a review of the service charge billing structure.
“There are alternative models such as salaried care, team care, the community model. Giving doctors options when they’re starting out,” Mowat said.
NDP Leader Carla Beck says other provinces, including British Columbia, Alberta, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador, have all announced funding to improve access and supply of family doctors.
(pictured above: Vicki Mowat and Carla Beck at the NDP press conference on October 19)