NDP: windfall resource revenue should be used to fix family doctor shortage

The opposition NDP says the Sask Party government needs to step up with a plan to attract and retain family doctors, which it calls “the backbone of the provincial health system.”

An NDP news release notes there was a decline of 82 family doctors actively practicing in the province between 2018-19 and 2020-21. The Saskatchewan Health Authority is reporting that Saskatoon is currently without a single family doctor taking new patients.

“We have a health minister who claims our system is fine while our Emergency Rooms and hospitals are bursting at the seams, healthcare workers are burning out and people across the province can’t find access to a doctor,” said Vicki Mowat, opposition health critic. “The government needs to step up with a plant before it’s too late.”

The NDP says urgent funding is required to help family doctors with overhead pressures in offices and clinics. It also wants a review of the fee-for-service billing structure.

“There are alternate models such as salaried care, team-based care, the community model. Providing options for physicians when they are just 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 to and supply of family doctors.

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