(27 January 2011)
More Money for Lower Income
People and Families
Saskatchewan people continue to benefit from our government’s changes to personal income tax. In fact, there are more people benefiting from the increase to the personal exemption than even we anticipated. We have received new information indicating that 92,000 people are no longer paying provincial income tax – 12,000 more than we originally estimated. This means that people with fixed incomes, such as seniors and students, are keeping more of what they earn. Families with low to moderate incomes also have more money in their pockets.
A Better Deal for Doctors
Our government recognizes the vital role doctors play in delivering quality patient care to people and families across Saskatchewan. This has led to a new tentative four-year contract between our government and the Saskatchewan Medical Association, which includes an 11 per cent increase in fees paid for physician services. The contact also includes $33 million in special programs that reward physicians for choosing to adopt a full-scope of practice, practice in rural communities, focus on patient-centered care or chronic disease management, and improves after-hours access.
While recruiting and retaining doctors is an ongoing challenge, this new deal provides Saskatchewan with a competitive edge. We’re also now training more doctors here at home, we’re working harder to retain Saskatchewan-educated medical students, and we’re opening our doors to more qualified International Medical Graduates. Providing fair and competitive compensation is not only important for physicians, but it is also important for families who rely on local doctors and quality health care. Saskatchewan has experienced and caring physicians, we just need more of them. This deal is great news for patients and rural and urban communities across the province.
Leading the Way in Isotopes Research
Our government is doing our part to help solve the world’s isotopes shortage through non-reactor technology. We have partnered with the federal government to provide the Canadian Light Source with $12 million for medical research. The research will determine the technical and economic feasibility of using an electron linear accelerator to produce isotopes. Used in medical imaging, isotopes play an important role treating diseases such as cancer and are a vital tool used for enhancing the health and well-being of people across the globe and right here in Saskatchewan. One of four in Canada, this project will determine whether high-energy particle accelerators can mass produce isotopes at lower cost than traditional isotope production at nuclear reactors.
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