New data from the Canadian Institute of Health Information (CIHI) has the opposition NDP sounding the alarm over what appears to be an exodus of doctors and nurses from rural Saskatchewan communities during the Scott Moe government’s years in office.  

“Our hometowns have the potential to be some of the best places in Canada to put down roots. There’s no excuse for Premier Moe to be driving doctors and nurses out,” said Official Opposition Leader Carla Beck. “Scott Moe just isn’t getting results for rural Saskatchewan. The Premier that broke our healthcare system can’t be trusted to fix it.” 

An NDP release details CIHI findings that there were 2234 rural/remote registered nurses in 2018 when Scott Moe took office. The most recent available data shows that there are only 1760. The release goes on to state it represents the largest dip in the nursing workforce in all the provinces studied at -21% since 2018.  

It also notes that rural Saskatchewan communities have lost 12 registered psychiatric nurses since Scott Moe stepped into the Premier’s role. There were 755 across the whole province when Scott Moe became Premier in 2018, and now only 679. 

The data covers periods before the integration of health services under the provincial umbrella of the Saskatchewan Health Authority. The report shows a net loss of doctors since 2018 in former regions including Kelsey Trail Health Region (Tisdale area), Prince Albert Parkland Health Region and Sun Country Health Region (Weyburn area).  

“It’s not just about money. We need to listen to our healthcare workers and change the culture that’s driving them to other provinces,” said Rural and Remote Health Critic Jared Clarke. “Local leaders know what’s best for their communities and deserve a seat at the table.”