|Implemented in this survey?|
In the Fall of 2006 Saskatchewan announced a $25M recruitment and retention fund and established a Provincial Nursing Committee and a Health Workforce Steering Committee to oversee programs under the fund. These include a $6M Relocation Grant and a Northern, Rural & Hard to Recruit Grant as well as $6M Retention Fund
The purpose of these funds is to facilitate both the recruitment and retention of the health workforce in the province. $15M of the fund is targeted at nurses and $10M is earmarked for other health professionals. The goal is to deal with the ongoing shortages of health professionals in the province by both increasing recruitment from outside of the province (including internationally) as well as developing and funding strategies to improve retention of health professionals already within the system.
The programs include:
The two biggest programs will provide (1) individual bursaries to health professionals willing to relocate to Saskatchewanfrom outside of the province (with preference given to Saskatchewantrained health professionals) and (2) opportunities for employees and employers to design local initiatives aimed at improving retention rates in their workplaces.
The main objective of the Recruitment and Retention Program is to increase the overall numbers of health professionals, especially nurses, practicing in the province. The goals include:
The program uses a mix of instruments (bursaries, retention grants, new institutional arrangements and increases in system capacity) to entice health professionals into the province and to improve working life in order to insure that they are more likely to stay in the province and in their chosen profession.
The financial incentives include individual bursaries for helath professionals coming into the province and for those willing to locate to Northern, Rural or Hard to Recruit to communities. Additional monies are available to provide improved professional development.
The non-financial incentives are designed to increase the capacity of the health system to provide clinical placements, the creation of recruitment agency to assist regional health authorities in recruiting professionals and the development of programs to help internationally educated health professionals (IEHPs) to integrate into the province.
Nurses, Physicians, Allied health professionals
Saskatchewan, like many provinces, has serious shortages of health professionals, especially physicians and nurses. As a small jurisdiction (traditionally with limited financial resources) the province has seen large numbers of health professionals, especially those it has trained, leave the province in recent years to wealthier parts of the country and in particular to the province of Alberta.
These seemingly chronic shortages of health professionals has long been a political problem for the provincial government which is expected to call a provincial election this year. In the past year the government of Saskatchewanhas committed itself to becoming "self-sufficient" in health human resources in the coming years. It has, however, not defined what it means by self-sufficiency - what it means for the recruitment of IEHPs or those educated elsewhere in Canada.
At the same time, there is ample evidence from across the country that one of the biggest problems with the shortage of nursing professionals is the systems inability to retain workers due to poor working conditions, workplace injury and burn-out due to overwork.
In recent years, the province has benefited from high resource prices that has provided it with more social spending capacity than it has known for a long time. This greater fiscal capacity has allowed the province to focus some of that money on initiatives such as these in order to deal with some long-standing health human resource issues.
Saskatchewan Health Workforce Action Plan (2006)
Pan-Canadian Framework for Health Human Resources Planning (2007)
|Implemented in this survey?|
The idea of the recruitment and retention strategy is an outgrowth of the SaskatchewanHealth Workforce Action Plan originally released in 2006 and revised annually since then. The strategy also builds on the intergovernmental work being done in Canada to better coordinate health human resource planning and the commitments made recently by all governments in the Pan-Canadian Framework for Health Human Resource Planning.
The driving force for the initiative comes from both within the bureaucracy and the stakeholder community in the health care system which has been critical of the government's inability to fill vacancies within the system in recent years and the poor working conditions experienced by many health professionals.
The two provincial advisory committees (the Provincial Nursing Committee and the Health Workforce Steering Committee - both made up of government officials, researchers and stakeholder representatives) were charged with developing strategies for the use of the $25M fund. Their work began late in the Fall of 2006 and culminated with the announcement of the various components of the Recruitment and Retention program outlined above were announced early in 2007. The recruitment bursaries programs began accepting applications in February 2007 and the Retention initiative began accepting applications in March 2007.
The use of bursaries to attract and retain health sector employees has been used by the government in the past and has been used by other provinces in recent years.
The more innovative part of the initiative is the retention program which allows groups of employees and employers to apply for up $75,000 to fund a retention-based initiative for their workplace. This program allows small-scale initiatives to be designed that meet the sometimes very specific challenges of their workplace when it comes to retention.
The approach of the idea is described as:
Most provider groups have been very supportive of the initiative as they are the main beneficiaries of the programs. The one exception has been the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses ( SUN ) which has been highly critical of the government's inability to significantly increase the number of nurses in the province. But the nursing professional and regulatory bodies have been very clear in their support of the initiative and their willingness to work with the government. Media reaction to the announcements over the past few months has been relatively supportive of the intention of the programs, but there has been little follow up on theinitiatives since their announcement. The opposition has criticized the government for not acting fast enough nor investing enough money in the initiatives, but have not criticized the overall intention of the program.
|Governing party||sehr unterstützend||stark dagegen|
|Opposition party||sehr unterstützend||stark dagegen|
|Sask Registered Nurses Assoc.||sehr unterstützend||stark dagegen|
|Sask Union of Nurses||sehr unterstützend||stark dagegen|
|Sask Medical Association||sehr unterstützend||stark dagegen|
|Allied health professionals||sehr unterstützend||stark dagegen|
|Regina Leader post||sehr unterstützend||stark dagegen|
|Saskatoon Star||sehr unterstützend||stark dagegen|
|Governing party||sehr groß||kein|
|Opposition party||sehr groß||kein|
|Sask Registered Nurses Assoc.||sehr groß||kein|
|Sask Union of Nurses||sehr groß||kein|
|Sask Medical Association||sehr groß||kein|
|Allied health professionals||sehr groß||kein|
|Regina Leader post||sehr groß||kein|
|Saskatoon Star||sehr groß||kein|