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17th - Sep

SMA leaders travel the province for President and Vice-President’s Tour

Saskatchewan Medical Association (SMA) president Dr. Siva Karunakaran, along with SMA vice-president Dr. Allan Woo, are meeting this fall with physicians across the province during the annual President and Vice-President’s Tour.

The tour features 12 stops where the SMA president and vice-president hear from local physicians. The president/vice-president’s tour is a tradition of the SMA and is a key method the SMA leadership uses to stay in touch with members. Dr. Karunakaran, a Regina nephrologist, and Dr. Woo, a Saskatoon orthopedic surgeon, will share the responsibilities of the tour with one or the other, and sometimes both, attending meetings.

Click here to see the tour schedule.

“The health system is changing and adapting,” Dr. Karunakaran said. “The President and Vice-President’s Tour is an opportunity to review some of the issues physicians are facing.

“The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) continues to grow, and while we are pleased that physicians are involved at the highest levels of the SHA executive, we recognize that change can be challenging,” Dr. Karunakaran added. “The SHA’s bylaws and rules are being developed, something the SMA is doing collaboratively with the SHA. The bylaws articulate the relationship between practitioners and the SHA. They are quite detailed and it will take time to finalize them. The bylaws are extremely important to the province’s physicians and I am keen to hear what SMA members think of the progress so far.”

Dr. Karunakaran said another issue of importance to the SMA is physician health and wellness. The SMA’s new 2018-2022 Strategic Plan has identified physician wellness as one of the four strategic priorities.

“Physician wellness has also been identified as a national priority by the Canadian Medical Association and is of critical importance to the profession today,” he said.

Another issue that might arise is the legalization of cannabis, as many physicians are concerned about the effect that legislation will have on people’s heath.

Dr. Woo said the President and Vice-President’s Tour is a great opportunity to expand on the collegiality among physicians and to foster relationships.

“It gives us great insight into what the current major issues are,” Dr. Woo said. “We have had a lot of changes over the last year and we want to know how these changes have affected Saskatchewan physicians.”                                                                                                          

The Saskatchewan Medical Association ( is a voluntary, member-based, professional association for physicians, medical students and residents in the province and it is the provincial chapter of the Canadian Medical Association. As the trusted voice of Saskatchewan’s more than 2,400 practising physicians, the SMA negotiates for and on behalf of our doctors; supports the educational, professional, economic and personal well-being of physicians; and advocates for a high-quality and patient-centred health care system.

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