Saskatchewan residents are receiving better access to physician services. Since its inception in 2011, the Saskatchewan International Physician Practice Assessment (SIPPA) has resulted in a total of 91 new doctors practising family medicine in Saskatchewan.
Nineteen physicians, part of the most recent SIPPA intake, passed the May assessment and are now practising in communities across the province.
SIPPA assesses International Medical Graduates (IMGs) on their medical education and clinical ability before allowing them to practise medicine here.
"Our physician assessment is designed to recruit more internationally trained doctors to Saskatchewan and is key to further stabilizing the physician workforce throughout the province," Rural and Remote Health Minister Randy Weekes said.
"I'd like to congratulate these doctors who have passed their assessment and are now providing care to Saskatchewan residents."
The September 2013 SIPPA intake is now underway, and an additional 25 physicians will be moving onto the clinical field assessment phase.
"SIPPA is a made-in-Saskatchewan solution, and it is working. We are delighted by the success of our candidates in their clinical field assessments. We will continue to work in partnership with saskdocs and our provincial government to ensure continued success for SIPPA and the IMGs who now have the opportunity to live and work in Saskatchewan" said Dr. Penny Davis, Medical Director of SIPPA for the College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan.
"More doctors are hearing about SIPPA, which allows IMGs to apply for licensure here in this province," said Ed Mantler, saskdocs CEO. "It is encouraging to increasingly see more IMGs currently living within Canada apply. Our agency has been working hard at reaching out to those individuals within Canada to tell them about the opportunities that await them here."
While recruiting internationally educated doctors is important to stabilizing the province's physician workforce, saskdocs also recruits Saskatchewan-trained and Canadian-trained medical graduates.
"Recruiting and retaining University of Saskatchewan (U of S) medical graduates remains our number one priority," said Mantler. "We realize these graduates have many options to choose from once they graduate so it is important that we engage them early on and support them along the way and let them know about the many opportunities available to them in this province."