Health Minister Jim Reiter heard from physician leaders across the province on Friday morning at the Saskatchewan Medical Association’s Fall Representative Assembly.
After the minister gave his address, he heard from the audience, which included questions on transformational changes.
An advisory panel is currently reviewing the province’s health care system and the number of health regions.
Reiter says he expects a final report from the advisory within a few weeks and plans to start carefully implementing changes over the next few months.
“We’re going to have to try and do things as effectively and efficiently as we can,” said Reiter.
The Saskatchewan Medical Association hopes to be included in those changes moving forward.
“We feel that physicians are uniquely poised to be front and center of this change. They know the subtle nuances of this system and they have the information of what works and what doesn’t,” said Dr. Intheran Pillay, President of the SMA.
Concerns around staffing and resources in rural and remote areas of Saskatchewan were also raised at the conference.
Reiter says the government has made improvements to staffing through the SIPPA program to recruit doctors.
“There is still lots more work to be done. There’s shortages that pop up in specific areas, but it’s certainly been a huge improvement over where it was just a few short years ago and we’re going to continue to work hard,” he said.
Reiter says they have also increased the number of seats at the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Medicine to 120, in the hopes that graduates stay within the province to practice.