Saskatchewan is about to become the only province in Canada that will not pay for spiritual care in health region facilities, according to the Canadian Association for Spiritual Care.

Funding for spiritual leaders on call in hospitals was cut in last week's provincial budget.

'The physical body may heal but the spirit remains damaged.' - Philip Weaver, Canadian Association for Spiritual Care

Philip Weaver, with the Canadian Association for Spiritual Care, called the government's decision "shortsighted" and "petty."

"Without addressing those kinds of spiritual needs around connection and meaning, the physical body may heal but the spirit remains damaged," Weaver told CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning.

"By ignoring this whole dimension of human existence, people are going to have prolonged distress, longer hospital stays, more expensive hospital stays."

Spiritual care also extends to healthcare providers who might be struggling with the loss of a patient.

"People have those sorts of existential crises that happen," said Weaver. "We know there is often a sense of futility and burnout that can happen in health care."

The decision to pull funding for spiritual care did not come with a timeline.

With files from CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning