Healthcare remains a concern across the country, but rural areas are hit especially hard by staffing shortages in the sector.
The Southeast Healthcare Recruitment and Retention Committee, which started at the beginning of 2023 after the departure of two doctors in the area, has been working to address the issue in the region.
The committee reviews current healthcare professionals, as well as the recruitment and retention of healthcare professionals. They create action plans for recruitment and retention, respond to recruitment needs in the communities, and help find sources and resources and recruitment and retention initiatives.
Nine municipalities make up the committee:
Rural Municipality of Argyle
Rural Municipality of Enniskillen
Rural Municipality of Coalfields
Rural Municipality of Reciprocity
Rural Municipality of Moose Creek
Town of Alameda
Village of Frobisher
Village of Glen Ewen
Town of Oxbow
The SHRRC does not have any authority regarding health care but acts as an advisory committee.
“A new doctor joined our community in July of 2023,” said Brandi Morrisette, the Town of Oxbow's chief administrative officer. “As well one joined our community in October of 2023.”
Different areas across the country have been impacted with long hospital wait times, and access to medical professionals.
“This is not just in this rural area. It’s rural areas across Saskatchewan and even Canada," said Morrisette. "There just aren’t enough healthcare providers throughout Saskatchewan and even Canada.”
Oxbow’s Galloway Health Centre has experienced several service disruptions to their Emergency Service Department in recent months.
“It’s just the nature of the beast I guess," said Morrisette. "In relation to recruitment and retention.”