MEDICAL SERVICES REPORT: SK down 14 GPs since Scott Moe took office

Majority of Sask.-trained specialists leaving province after graduation

REGINA - Today, the Saskatchewan NDP responded to the Medical Services Branch Annual Statistical Report for 2022-23. While other provinces make big gains, Saskatchewan is losing family doctors, gynecologists, diagnostic radiologists and other specialists at an alarming rate. Graduate retention rates also show that medical specialists trained in Saskatchewan are more likely to leave the province after completing their education than to stay.

“The numbers speak for themselves. This premier just isn’t getting the job done,” said Official Opposition Leader Carla Beck. “After 17 years, it’s time for a change. Saskatchewan can be a nation-leader in healthcare again, but it’ll take a new government with new ideas.”

Saskatchewan had 982 active general practitioners (family doctors) during Scott Moe's first year in office in 2018-19. The most recent available data shows that there are currently 968 active GPs, an overall decrease of 14. For comparison, British Columbia was up 708 GPs last year alone. Premier Moe has repeatedly stated on the record that his government has “the most ambitious human health resource plan in the nation of Canada”. 

Women’s and rural healthcare have been disproportionately affected by Saskatchewan’s doctor exodus. Overall, the province lost 8 rural GPs, 3 pediatric specialists, 4 anesthesiologists, 4 obstetricians, 2 neurosurgeons, 3 pathologists/diagnostic radiologists, 2 neurosurgeons and a urological surgeon since Scott Moe came to power in 2018. 

Active Physicians by type 

Year 

Active GPs

Rural GPs 

Pediatrics 

Anesthesia 

2018-19 

982

265 

74 

118 

2019-20 

967

243 

71 

112 

2020-21 

900

235 

73 

109 

2021-22 

965

255 

69 

110 

2022-23 

968

257 

71 

114 

 

Year 

Obstetrics & Gynecology 

Pathology & Diagnostic Radiology 

Neurosurgery 

Urological surgery 

2018-19 

67 

99 

15 

18 

2019-20 

70 

90 

14 

18 

2020-21 

66 

109 

14 

18 

2021-22 

69 

108 

13 

17 

2022-23 

63 

96 

13 

17 

“Most of the medical specialists trained in Saskatchewan are leaving the province after graduation because the Sask. Party government has no plan to retain them,” said Rural and Remote Health Critic Jared Clarke. “Many healthcare workers feel mistreated and ignored by this government. Doctors are leaving the province in droves and the government isn’t even conducting exit interviews to figure out why. There are simple solutions here.”

Graduate Retention Rates

Physician Type

2018-19

2019-20

2020-21

2021-22

Family Medicine

81%

73%

84%

78%

Specialists

35%

57%

45%

45%

All physicians

60%

70%

63%

61%

  Here’s the retention breakdown from Saskatchewan’s June 2022 graduating class of physicians:   

  • 14% of pediatric specialists (1 out of 7) remained in the province. The graduating year prior, all four pediatric specialists left the province.  
  • 43% of psychiatrists (3 out of 7) remained in the province.  
  • 25% of specialists for physical medicine and rehabilitation (1 out of 4) remained in the province. 
  • 17% of general surgeons (1 out 6) remained in the province. 
  • 67% of diagnostic radiologists (2 out of 3) remained in the province. The graduating year prior, both of the 2 that graduated left the province.  
  • 50% of respiratory medicine specialists left the province.
  • 38% for anesthesiologists (3 out of 8) remained in the province.  

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