The Government of Saskatchewan has expanded eligibility for its veterinary loan forgiveness program, permitting up to $20,000 of student loan debt forgiveness for veterinarians and veterinary technologists working in rural or remote communities.
“We recognize the veterinarian shortages in rural Saskatchewan will take ongoing collaboration to resolve,” says the province’s agriculture minister, Hon. David Marit. “The Government of Saskatchewan takes this issue seriously and is committed to continuing to find additional solutions.”
To qualify for the program, veterinarians and veterinary technologists must have at least 400 hours of service in a remote or rural community in the past year, have started working remotely or in a rural community after Jan. 1, 2021, and have a license to practice in Saskatchewan. Applicants need to fill in their paperwork within 90 days of their year of service.
“This expansion will ensure veterinary professionals providing services to smaller communities are eligible for the program,” says Saskatchewan’s advanced education minister, Hon. Gordon S. Wyant, Q.C. “It is a positive step forward in addressing the need for veterinarians and veterinary technologists in rural and under-serviced communities in Saskatchewan.”
“Our industry, like many others, is facing a shortage of vets which can negatively impact our industry, our ability to expand, our need for an established vet/client relationship for access to drugs, and even animal welfare,” adds Arnold Balicki, chair of the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association (SCA). “We had raised concerns with the government previously around the qualifying parameters for this program. We truly appreciate they took our concerns to heart and made the necessary changes to allow clinics in larger centres, such as Prince Albert, which also serve rural clients, to now qualify.”
For more, click here.