The Saskatchewan government is spending $850,000 for surgery in Regina to help morbidly obese people.

The bariatric surgical assessment clinic, announced by the Health Ministry on Tuesday, will be a 15-month pilot program run by the Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region.

"We recognize the need to address the increasing incidence of obesity in a carefully considered and responsible way," Health Minister Don McMorris said in a news release.

It's not the first program of its kind in Saskatchewan. There had been a similar program operating in Saskatoon, but it stopped taking new patients last year when the surgeon doing the procedures retired.

The new program is designed to assess 100 patients a year. According to the province, there are about 300 people on a waiting list for bariatric surgery.

Bariatric surgery, sometimes called weight loss surgery, includes a variety of procedures on the stomach or intestines that are designed to prevent the body from absorbing nutrients.

Among the indicators of morbid obesity is being more than 100 pounds above one's ideal body weight.