Three physicians to leave Tisdale

TISDALE – The Town of Tisdale will see three doctors leave before the end of August.

The Ministry of Health has confirmed three physicians have submitted their resignations, with plans to end their practices on July 31, Aug. 8 and Aug. 23.

Two physicians have been in Tisdale for three years, and the third has been in the community for 10 years.

There are currently six physicians in Tisdale, providing primary health care services as well as coverage for acute care, long-term care and emergency department services.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Health said a seventh physician position in Tisdale has also recently been added, as part of ongoing efforts to expand health-care options for residents of the Tisdale area and to make the community a more attractive option for prospective future physicians.

“We currently do not have any incentives in place but we are in the process of starting a committee to address this doctor shortage,” Town of Tisdale CAO Brad Hvidston told SASKTODAY.ca.

“It was announced in the recent budget that Tisdale was approved for seven doctors and two nurse practitioners which is an increase for both of those positions,” Hvidston said.

“We now have to work on filling the available spots.”

Recruitment efforts to fill these physician vacancies have already begun through the Saskatchewan Health Authority’s (SHA) Practitioner Staff Affairs and the Saskatchewan Healthcare Recruitment Agency. Together they are working to identify strategies to recruit to these positions through job postings, career fairs and reaching out to medical students and residents from the University of Saskatchewan, across Canada and internationally.

“Saskatchewan has one of the best physician compensation rates in the country, including special incentives for doctors in rural areas,” A spokesperson with the Ministry of Health said.

“The newly updated Rural Physician Incentive Program provides up to $200,000 over the span of five years for new to rural practice physicians as a means of attracting and retaining physicians in eligible rural communities in Saskatchewan, such as Tisdale.”

The Government of Saskatchewan’s Health Human Resources Action Plan also continues to build on existing initiatives and incentives in place to recruit and retain physicians, according to the ministry.

“The province has expanded and enhanced programming targeted to recruiting and retaining physicians,” the spokesperson said.

“This includes expanded medical residency seats, increased placements through the Saskatchewan International Physician Practice Assessment, and a new mentorship and support program to help address long-term retention of physicians assessed through Saskatchewan International Physician Practice Assessment.”

The Ministry of Health also recently launched a nurse practitioner utilization enhancement to expand the areas of practice of Saskatchewan’s nurse practitioners (NPs). This enhancement initiative is aimed toward better use of NPs, including two full-time nurse practitioner positions in Tisdale.

, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, SASKTODAY.ca