(22 September 2010)
Children's Hospital of Saskatchewan
A Children’s Hospital in our province has been a dream for many Saskatchewan families for too long. That dream is now one step closer to reality as our government has fulfilled our commitment of $200 million to the Saskatoon Health Region to construct the Children's Hospital of Saskatchewan. With a final location now selected at the Royal University Hospital, the project can continue to move forward knowing that funding from our government is secured. For generations to come, the Children's Hospital will provide a safe and comfortable environment for sick children and their families from across the province. The hospital will also be a hub of research, knowledge, and learning for professionals dedicated to children's health. This significant funding announcement for the hospital represents another key campaign promise fulfilled by our government.
Every family wants to have reliable doctors in their communities to provide quality and timely care. Our government is working to make that a reality for families across the province. We recently announced a new, improved process that will allow us to better recruit more foreign-trained physicians to Saskatchewan and assess them more efficiently. The improvements will open up the assessment to International Medical Graduates (IMGs) from around the world as long as they meet the pre-screening criteria, bolstering recruitment by allowing a much wider range of physicians.
Other benefits of the new assessment process include:
The new assessment process flows from the government's physician strategy, introduced last year, which aims to address the physician shortage in Saskatchewan.
- assessing IMGs prior to their work practice, which allows for safer patient care and less disruption in the communities;
- having IMGs complete their orientation in Saskatchewan, which will help them adjust to the local community and increase their chances of success; and
- the elimination of the current group practice requirement, which means once IMGs successfully pass their assessment, they can go directly to the community they were recruited to and practise independently.
Providing children and their families with high-quality care is another priority for our government. That’s why we committed $1 million in this spring’s budget to expand child care spaces. This investment will enable 235 new spaces to be developed in communities across the province including, Saskatoon, Duck Lake, Porcupine Plain, Kinistino, Regina, Meadow Lake, Turtleford and a yet to be determined community in the Northern Lights School Division. Many of the new spaces will be located in schools, creating stronger links between schools and child care, while continuing to focus on a high-quality early learning program. Over the last three years, our government has allocated funding for the creation of over 2900 new child care spaces, which represents a 30 per cent increase in child care spaces since 2007.
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