The Physician Incentive Program is receiving $200,000 to help attract more family physicians to rural and northern Saskatchewan.

Starting on April 1, the provincial government will offer an enhanced rural physician incentive program in an effort to attract and retain more family physicians to rural and northern communities.

The total incentive will be $200,000 over five years, which is more than four times the amount of $47,000 that was previously offered.  “Our government recognizes the challenge of attracting doctors to rural and remote areas of the province, and this increased incentive will enhance our ability to attract more rural physicians and meet that challenge,” Premier Scott Moe said.

To aid in incentivizing retention, the length of the programs will also be increased from four years to five years. Eligibility for the new program will also see an expansion beyond new graduates with the inclusion of physicians practicing in rural and northern communities who have been assessed through the Saskatchewan International Physician Practice Assessment Program.

“Family physicians play an important role in rural and northern communities because they also support emergency departments, acute care beds, and other important services provided by local health care facilities,” said Rural and Remote Health Minister Everett Hindley.

The Rural Physician Incentive Program was first launched in 2013–14 to help incentivize recent graduates to take up practice in rural and northern communities.