Veterinary students work with dairy cow.
WCVM students examine a dairy cow. Photo by Christina Weese.

Saskatchewan expands eligibility for veterinary loan forgiveness program

The Government of Saskatchewan has announced updates to its student loan forgiveness plan for veterinarians and registered veterinary technologists (RVTs) who serve livestock stakeholders in rural and remote communities.

According to a Government of Saskatchewan news release, the program’s goal is to attract veterinary professionals to work in rural areas by forgiving a portion of their Saskatchewan Student Loan debt for up to five years to a maximum of $20,000.

Veterinary professionals who work at any Saskatchewan veterinary practice that offers clinical services (including ambulatory services) to rural or remote livestock stakeholders will now be eligible for the program.

“We recognize that the veterinarian shortages in rural Saskatchewan will take ongoing collaboration to resolve,” says Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister David Marit. “The Government of Saskatchewan takes this issue seriously and is committed to continuing to find additional solutions.”

This expansion is in addition to the designated communities that were part of the previously-announced loan forgiveness program in 2021. Service providers must deliver a minimum of 400 hours of clinical services over a 12-month period.

The Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association (SCA) welcome the program’s expansion.

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 …. We truly appreciate that [the government] took our concerns to heart and made the necessary changes to allow clinics in larger centres such as Prince Albert, who also serve rural clients, to now qualify,” says SCA Chair Arnold Balicki.

Click here to read the Government of Saskatchewan news release.