In the coming days, Members of the Legislative Assembly from across the province will meet together in Regina to plan, debate and introduce new programs to support a growing province. Over the summer, our government announced several programs that will get a head start on that process of supporting growth.
A stable and growing healthcare workforce supports the expansion happening in our province right now. We have more businesses, more investment and more people living in Saskatchewan than ever before. Creating an environment that will lead to further sustainable growth is a top priority for our government. The Health Human Resource Action Plan will add 1,000 professionals to the healthcare section while building on numerous initiatives and incentives already in place.
Our four-point plan starts with recruiting hundreds of healthcare workers from abroad over the next two years. Senior officials will lead the recruitment, and four new health system navigators will help internationally educated healthcare workers settle into our province.
Saskatchewan will become the first province in the country to introduce an accelerated training, assessment and licensing process for internationally educated nurses. The first group of candidates will begin online training this fall as part of the second point of this four-point plan. We have added 150 nursing seats to the registered nursing, registered psychiatric nursing and nurse practitioner education programs to increase training opportunities here at home. Additionally, the Saskatchewan Health Authority is working with partners to develop a First Nations and Métis recruitment and retention strategy to complement this work.
The third part of the plan is a new incentive that will provide up to $50,000 over three years for hard-to-recruit positions in rural and remote areas. We will continue to offer loan forgiveness programs, bursaries and support to anyone interested in a healthcare career here in Saskatchewan. For example, the Student Loan Forgiveness Program encourages nurses and nurse practitioners to practice in rural communities by forgiving up to $20,000 of their Saskatchewan Student Loans.
Finally, we will work to retain more professionals by creating 100 new permanent full-time positions and converting 150 part-time positions into full-time for high-demand professions in rural and remote areas.
Our province continues to grow, and we are expanding the services and programs that residents need. We will deliver solutions that simplify processes, remove obstacles and cut red tape so qualified people can work in Saskatchewan as quickly as possible.
We have heard your concerns throughout our province about the need for veterinarians specializing in large animals. To that end, we have increased the number of subsidized seats at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine from 20 to 25. Students who practice in under-served rural or remote communities can access the Loan Forgiveness for Veterinarians and Veterinary Technologists program, which forgives up to $20,000 in Saskatchewan Student Loan debt. To learn more visit Saskatchewan.ca. If you have any questions about our programs or you need some assistance with government services, please contact my office. We can be reached by phone at 306-922-2828, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or pop by the office at Bay 4, 406 South Industrial Drive in Prince Albert.