An announcement by the provincial government Friday could mean another medical professional in Weyburn. In a press release, it was announced there would be 27 new nurse practitioner positions across the province, including one here.  

"Nurse practitioners play a vital role in the Saskatchewan health care system, and adding positions in rural and remote areas will help residents find the care they need closer to home," Mental Health and Addictions, Seniors and Rural and Remote Health Minister Tim McLeod said in the release. "We look forward to seeing more Nurse Practitioners providing quality care in Saskatchewan communities." 

Nurse practitioners are registered nurses who have additional training, and can provide many of the same services as a family physician. This includes advanced assessments and diagnosis, ordering tests, admitting and discharging patients, prescribing medications, performing medical procedures, and making referrals to specialists. 

The positions are part of a $4.5 million funding announcement that was included in the budget released in March of this year. The goal is to increase access to primary care in underserved areas of the province, of which Weyburn was one of the places identified as having the need. The prioritization of the communities was done in collaboration between the provincial Ministry of Health, the Saskatchewan Health Authority, and the Saskatchewan Association of Nurse Practitioners.  

No timeline was announced for when the position would be filled, but the release identified today as the deadline for applications.  

There are currently 360 nurse practitioners working in Saskatchewan.