“The decision to restore this is critical to our ability to maintain the strong medical school that Saskatchewan deserves,” said Tony Vannelli, U of S provost and vice-president academic. “We are grateful to the government for making a decision that is essential to our success.”
Vannelli said this financial commitment from the government sends a strong signal of support to, not only the U of S and the College of Medicine, but also the people of Saskatchewan and medical education accreditors—namely, the Committee on the Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS) and its American equivalent, the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME).
“This is necessary for us to deliver high-quality medical education and research that is vital to the province,” he said, adding that in combination with the hard work and focus of the College of Medicine faculty, staff and students, restoration of these funds will contribute to a successful accreditation review.
“This is a timely and positive decision that will also be significant to the accreditation review,” the provost remarked. “Accrediting agencies expect appropriate level of funding from government, so this restored necessary funding is a very encouraging outcome.”
Vannelli said funding from the provincial government was the “final piece of the puzzle as we make final preparations for the review of our medical school by accreditors. This is the type of financial commitment accreditors want to see from government.”
CACMS and LCME will visit the college Oct. 29-Nov. 1, 2017 and evaluate 12 standards of accreditation (subdivided into 93 elements) under which all medical schools must operate. In October 2015, the College of Medicine was taken off of probation as a result of a May 2015 site visit when accreditors evaluated progress on specific standards previously cited as deficient. Almost all standards were partially or completely compliant and since that visit the college has continued to address all standards in preparation for the upcoming review.
“Having a strong College of Medicine is critical to our university as a research-intensive member of the U15, but beyond that, it is critical to the province of Saskatchewan,” Vannelli explained. “We educate the medical professionals who look after the sick and injured, and we conduct research that improves treatment and cures disease.”
Vannelli said the restored funding allows for “some predictability in our financial situation this fiscal year. It also means that we are partners in providing healthcare to the province of Saskatchewan.”