President’s Message

Dr. Shannon Prud'hommeDr. Shannon Prud’homme

With spring just weeks away, I’m sure you are all hoping that the long cold stretches of this winter fade quickly into the distant past. I want to thank you for working through this winter, whether commuting on the icy roads of Winnipeg or traveling the blustery highways of Manitoba to care for your patients, the toll it takes is real. Your professionalism and compassion continues unabated though and for that you deserve praise.

We have been working hard at Doctors Manitoba to meet your needs in the face of some very challenging circumstances. Advocacy is at the core of all that
we do for you – and it takes many forms. Here, I will highlight just a few.

We are focused on our Master Agreement negotiations, knowing that we will need to carefully navigate our way through a host of complicating factors like restructuring.

Another example of our advocacy relates to your safety and security. We asked for your input and advice recently concerning the national opioid and meth crisis and the effects it is having on your workplaces. You offered sage advice. It has helped inform our work with regional health authorities and government to enhance processes and facilities to improve security.

A more recent example is our work with and for the physicians of the Lifeflight program. As a result of decisions made by government, the availability of the fully-equipped jets used by Lifeflight has been inconsistent. To make things worse, there has also been a shortage of pilots. This has led to an unfortunate over- reliance on private, backup basic aircraft that are not appropriately equipped for the critical care provided by physicians. We have been raising our concerns that physician and patient safety have to be properly taken into account, and that the uncertainty surrounding future organizational operations of Lifeflight is harming the ability to retain and recruit physicians and pilots for this crucial program. We will continue to insist that pilots and suitable jets are available, so a safe and clinically sound environment for care is available.

Our reason for being is to advocate for you. Please don’t hesitate to contact us so we can figure out how best to help you.