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New data show rural Saskatchewan doctor shortage

Saskatchewan is detailing its new surgical record even as new data show the province has less rural doctors and nurses since 2018.

As of Dec. 31, Saskatchewan medics did 71,850 procedures, which is an increase of 6,000 procedures over December 2022, say health officials. However, data from the Canadian Institute of Health Information (CIHI) show that from 2018 to 2022, doctors and nurses in rural Saskatchewan have been departing for other regions.

Registered nurses in rural areas for 2018 stood at 2,234. This fell to 1,760 in 2022. In that period, Saskatchewan lost 35 physicians to other provinces, second only to Alberta, which lost 72 doctors, while British Columbia gained 112 doctors.

Meanwhile, the government’s website indicates since September 2021, 262 physicians have been recruited from outside of the province. This includes 107 family physicians and 155 specialists. Those numbers do not account for doctors who have retired in the same time frame.

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