(15 June 2017)
Our government has worked hard to increase the complement of physicians and specialists in Saskatchewan through training, retention, and international recruitment. The Saskatchewan International Physician Practice Assessment is a made-in-Saskatchewan solution created under our government to assess foreign-trained family physicians. Sixteen doctors recently completed the assessment.
As a result of this program, which was fully implemented in 2012, 210 more physicians are serving Saskatchewan with 80% practicing in a rural or regional community. I’m proud to say that since 2007, Saskatchewan has welcomed over 750 more doctors to communities throughout Saskatchewan, which means a better experience for patients across the system.
While we have had some success, there is more work to do and we’re going to continue our efforts to ensure Saskatchewan patients have even better access to health care. And it’s not just the number of practicing physicians that’s growing – the latest Statistics Canada figures confirm the province’s overall population continues to climb.
Over the past year, Saskatchewan’s population grew by 16,047 people – a growth rate of 1.4%. Since 2007 we have grown by nearly 164,000 people. This decade of growth is a huge change from the previous decade of decline when Saskatchewan’s population actually dropped by more than 20,000 people.
As our population continues to grow, so does the demand for housing. Urban housing starts in Saskatchewan are up 57% compared to 2% nationally. This growth comes at a time when more people are working and our economy is gaining momentum.
There are 1,300 more jobs over this time last year with strong growth in several sectors. Combine that with export, manufacturing and GDP growth and we have reason for optimism. Saskatchewan’s economy is resilient and strong and our government is continuing to invest in infrastructure to support a growing province.
Our investments in infrastructure have helped repair and build new schools and highways, new hospitals and long-term care facilities. Even with the current fiscal challenge, our government continues to invest in infrastructure projects across the province.
The Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan are working together to improve housing affordability and support in northern Saskatchewan. A combined investment will assist in the development of up to 44 affordable rental units and the rejuvenation of eight emergency shelter units.
As part of our commitment to investing in local infrastructure, we are working to improve access to modern, reliable water and wastewater services. The Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan recently announced funding for 75 Saskatchewan projects.
The Government of Saskatchewan is also continuing to partner with communities and rural municipalities to maintain and upgrade vital airport infrastructure that supports economic development, accessibility and safety initiatives. Since 2007 our government has invested more than $350 million in municipal infrastructure projects across the province. This is in addition to nearly $258 million in revenue sharing – unconditional funding provided to municipalities to invest in local priorities.
The Government of Saskatchewan will continue to invest in infrastructure projects to improve our quality of life as our province continues to grow.
If you have any questions or concerns please contact my constituency office at 1-877-326-3652 (1-877-DAN-DMLA) or 306-443-2420.
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