Enhanced Incentive of $200,000 Over Five Years Came into Effect April 1

The enhanced Rural Physician Incentive Program (RPIP) is now in effect to help attract more family physicians to rural and northern communities across Saskatchewan.

“The enhanced incentive of up to $200,000 over five years will help attract more family physicians to rural and northern communities across Saskatchewan,” Rural and Remote Health Minister Everett Hindley said. “Family physicians play an essential role in rural and northern communities as they support emergency departments, acute care beds, and other important services provided by local health care facilities.”

The Rural Physician Incentive Program first launched in 2013-14. The new $200,000 incentive is more than four times the $47,000 incentive that was previously offered. To enhance retention, the length of the program is increasing from four years to five years. 

Eligibility for the incentive has also been expanded beyond new graduates to include physicians who take up practise in rural and northern communities following completion of the Saskatchewan International Physician Practice Assessment Program (SIPPA). 

More information on the enhanced RPIP program, including program eligibility, can be found at saskatchewan.ca/rural-physician-incentive

Expanding the Rural Physician Incentive Program is part of the Government of Saskatchewan’s nearly $100 million investment in 2023-24 to support the Health Human Resources Action Plan which includes several initiatives to recruit, train, incentivize and retain doctors and other health care professions. Initiatives specifically targeting physicians include: 

  • expanding medical residency seats through the University of Saskatchewan from 120 to 128 in order to train more doctors at home;
  • providing post-graduate medical residency training sites outside Regina and Saskatoon in the communities of Prince Albert, Swift Current, La Ronge, North Battleford, Moose Jaw and southeast areas of the province; and
  • expanding the SIPPA program from 36 to 45 seats per year, and establishing a mentorship and support program for physicians who complete SIPPA.
  • Increased funding for urgent care clinics offering after-hours and urgent care services to improve access for patients, and expanding eligibility for all community-based, fee-for-service family physicians to receive an additional payment per visit service, to incentivize family physicians to extend their office hours in order to improve access for patients and reduce pressures on emergency departments.