The Saskatchewan Medical Association (SMA) is currently visiting 11 communities to discuss the change to a single health authority and proposed changes to the small business tax.
The stops are a part of a yearly tour the SMA president and vice-president do every fall.
Joanne Sivertson, SMA president, said there is some nervousness about moving to a single health region.
“I think that physicians are cautiously optimistic that this could be a good thing,” she said. “There are efficiencies to be gained when you are providing services on a wider scale, when you have a better approach to pan-provincial service delivery.”
Sivertson said the SMA has been advocating that they need to continue to provide good care for patients closer to home.
“It’s critical that we don’t centralize all the services, but that we continue to allow patients to get good care, access to lab services, access to imaging as close to home as possible.”
She said they are optimistic that physicians will feel comfortable with the roll-out.
Sivertson also said many physicians are unhappy about the federal government’s proposed changes to the small business tax. She noted that it could have an effect on the ability to retain doctors in the province.
“There is potential for rural centres in particular to see impact.”
Sivertson said some doctors would move to a smaller centre where their spouses may not be able to get a job and would income-split with their spouse.
She said while Saskatchewan is still behind other provinces when it comes to physicians per capita, doctor retention has improved in recent years.
Sivertson said there has been a lot of positive feedback from physicians on the tour.
The SMA representatives will be in Regina on Wednesday night.