Last Chance to Vote on Tentative Agreement

We are in the final few days of the ratification period for the proposed Physician Services Agreement. Voting is open until Monday, August 14 at 11:59 AM. We strongly encourage all members to take a minute to vote, for two reasons. First, your vote helps to ensure the Agreement has physician support and is responsive to your needs. Second, a strong turnout will help us to advocate for the support and resources physicians need to thrive in medicine. 

The Doctors Manitoba Board of Directors has carefully reviewed the Agreement and strongly recommends it to members for approval.

Electronic voting has made it easier than ever to vote, taking a minute or less. All members should have received their individual electronic ballot and voting instructions for our secure and confidential online voting option. A reminder to vote was sent in the morning on Sunday, August 6. If you can’t find your voting instructions, it could be in your promotions or spam folder. If you cannot find it, please contact us at general@​doctorsmantoba.​ca or at 2049855888 to obtain your ballot credentials.

You can learn more about the proposed Agreement here:

Have Your Say on Plan for Future of Health Care

With a provincial election campaign getting underway, we are preparing to share what physicians would recommend for improving health care in Manitoba, with the hopes of seeing all political parties adopt your expert advice. Last week we shared an early draft of seven priorities and the feedback we have received so far largely reinforces these themes. We have updated the content based on that early feedback, and we’re now looking for final feedback by Sunday, August 13.

DRAFT Recommendations for Improving Health Care in Manitoba

1. Expand Team-Based Care
To meet the needs of a growing and aging population, Manitoba must aggressively expand team-based care, integrating more health care providers into physician practices. This would mean more physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, pharmacists, and other allied health professionals working in physician practices as part of a collaborative team, rather than fragmented approaches to care that create risks and frustration. Team-based care helps connect more people with care, while addressing demanding workloads for existing physician practices. More team-based care would help in all settings, including primary care, community-based specialty practices, and in hospital.

This is a foundation recommendation that has the potential to truly transform health care for Manitobans and make Manitoba a national leader.

We recommend adding 200 health professionals through the following initiatives:

  • Increasing funding for existing MyHealthTeams and Interdisciplinary Team Initiatives to add 50 more providers in primary care.
  • Starting a new initiative to allow family medicine and specialty practices to recruit providers into their practices and receive funding based on the volume of patient visits and procedures completed, with an initial plan of 100 providers over four years.
  • Adding 50 physician assistants to the health system, in both hospital and community practices, over the next four years.

2. Recruit and retain more doctors, nurses and other providers
Create a comprehensive health human resource plan with a clear target for net increases in health care providers, developed in close consultation with professional associations and health system leaders.

We recommend adding 400 more doctors to Manitoba within five years, a stretch goal that is based on reaching the Canadian average of physicians per capita. This could be supported through the following initiatives:

  • Considering an expansion of local physician training, recruitment from other provinces and the U.S., and further improvements to support qualified international-medical graduates in gaining their license while avoiding any unethical recruitment practices in underserved nations. 
  • Focusing on physician retention by addressing the causes of burnout and increasing satisfaction with work. 
  • Creating new incentives for recruitment as well as for succession planning to help late-career physicians transition their practice to new recruits.

3. Build up hospital capacity
We should plan our hospital capacity like we plan for floods, and that means being ready for surges. Our hospitals need to be better equipped not only for a once-in-a-generation pandemic, but also for annual surges during respiratory seasons. Hospitals need to be designed for an appropriate average occupancy target to avoid long waits and backlogs in ERs, surgery cancelations, and out-of-province care, and to keep up with Manitoba’s brisk population growth.

We recommend adopting a target occupancy rate for hospitals that provides capacity to accommodate more routine surges, and expand to handle more extraordinary pressures as well. This should be developed in consultation with physicians and health system leaders, drawing on best international best practices. An 85% target has been recommended in other jurisdictions. 

4. Expand access to mental health and substance use care
Manitoba has a higher rate of mental health diagnoses than the national average, and yet we have a lower-than-average number of psychiatrists and other mental health workers. Access to care continues to be a challenge for many.

We recommend adding 150 more psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health professionals over four years, including:

  • 50 more psychiatrists so Manitoba has among the most psychiatrists per capita in Canada 
  • 100 psychologists, social workers, and other mental health workers to the system through team-based care initiatives described above
  • Adopting and expanding evidence-based approaches to substance use recovery

5. Reduce wait times and improve access to care, especially for equity-diverse groups
Whether it’s wait times in ERs, for surgery and testing, or finding a family physician, improvements are needed. It’s important to focus these improvements on those with the worst access to care, which often includes the following: Indigenous, racialized, low-income, newcomer, rural/​Northern, and 2SLGBTQ+ groups.

We recommend adopting clear goals to reduce wait times and improve access to care for ERs, surgery, testing, primary care, and mental health and addictions care, and applying an intersectional lens to current wait times to ensure efforts to improve access focus on groups with the worst access to care.

6. Focus on disease prevention
Many diseases can be prevented, and complications can be avoided, through prevention. However, with shortages and long wait times the health system is often focused on treatment rather than prevention. Patients and physician report that they wish they had more time together to discuss prevention. More time for one-on-one prevention can be achieved through recruiting more health care providers and expanding team-based care. However, broader initiatives are required to support prevention at a population level.

We recommend focusing on supporting healthy living and disease prevention through:

  • Expanding and promoting access to screening and immunizations
  • Introducing creative ways to motivate Manitobans to take steps towards getting healthy and preventing diseases and complications
  • Aggressively tackling the determinants of good health, starting with improving the health of children, with an all-of-government approach

7. Promote innovation in medicine
Innovation happens best when it is supported from the top but allowed to flourish at the front line. Provincial expectations are needed to ensure consistent care across Manitoba, but rigid provincial solutions are not always the best approach to achieve these expectations.

We recommend a front-line-first approach to innovation and a significant investment in technology, including:

  • Creating a $10 million innovation fund to support innovation in medicine, including carefully developing and leveraging the potential of artificial intelligence in medicine in partnership with physicians. 
  • Rapidly moving towards a single one patient one chart” integrated electronic patient record. 
  • Expanding reliable internet access to more rural and Northern communities to support access to care and virtual visits.

What do you think?

What would do you like from the ideas above? What’s missing? Please email your feedback in confidence to Keir Johnson, Director of Strategy & Communications, at kjohnson@​doctorsmanitoba.​ca. We will be refining these ideas over the next week. 

This work is part of our ongoing advocacy for the profession, recognizing a provincial election is a once-every-four-year opportunity for physicians’ ideas to be heard. Our Board of Directors has directed that Doctors Manitoba remain a strictly non-partisan, neutral organization, including in the upcoming provincial election. You will not see Doctors Manitoba supporting or favouring any candidate or party. However, the Board has directed the Association to ensure that physicians’ concerns and priorities are part of the dialogue during the upcoming campaign, with the hopes that all provincial parties will embrace physicians’ ideas to improve health care for their patients. The election is scheduled for October 32023.

Golf Tournament is 3 Weeks Away!

Golfers of all skill levels are invited to join us at our first (annual?) Doctors Manitoba Golf Tournament! We have some new sponsors to announce soon, with some exciting prizes and activities during the tournament. 

This event is an idea that came to us from members looking for more opportunities to connect with colleagues outside of work. 

Don’t wait to register, as space is limited. If you’re putting together a foursome but don’t yet have all the names, you can buy tickets now and add names and details later.

Key Details:

  • When: Tuesday September 5
  • Where: Southwood Golf and Country Club in St. Norbert.
  • Cost: $190 each, includes a full 18 holes, power cart, lunch and dinner, and more 

Register now!

New to golf? You’re not alone and you’re welcome! The tournament format is friendly for less experienced golf players, with a shotgun start and a best-ball scramble format. 

Experienced golfer? You’ll fit in. Southwood is a premier championship course with challenging holes.

Proceeds from the golf tournament will support the our Getting Healthy public awareness campaigns and resources about healthy living and disease prevention, a physician-led initiative.

Register now!

If your practice is interested in sponsoring or hosting a hole, please email jsie@​doctorsmanitoba.​ca to discuss options and pricing for participation in the event.

Join us for our Doctors Manitoba Getting Healthy Golf Tournament, presented by MD Financial and Scotiabank with support from Bokhaut CPA!

CME Funding Available

Grants of up to $20,000 are available through Doctors Manitoba to support group continuing medical education initiatives for physicians. The 2023 Group CME Program was launched in April 2023 and is separate from your annual CME rebate. This group learning initiative provides grants for projects that deliver continuing medical education to a group or team of physicians in Manitoba. There is still significant funding available in the Rural and Northern physicians, and Community-Based physician streams. Any eligible physician in Manitoba can apply.

Eligible applications will be approved as they are received on a first-come first-served basis. The grants can cover eligible expenses for accredited continuing medical education that occurs in Manitoba before the end of 2023. Funds can be used to cover accreditation costs, speaker fees and accommodation or travel or other expenses necessary to deliver the education to a group or team of physicians. Previous grants have been provided for point-of-care ultrasound training, multi-topic primary care and surgical CME, and anti-racism CME.

You can learn more about the new CME grant initiative here, or contact Barry Hallman at benefits@​doctorsmanitoba.​ca for more information.

Flu and COVID Vaccine Updates

Earlier today, Public Health issued a bulletin about Manitoba’s flu and COVID-19 immunization program. 

Register by August 15 to ensure your participation in the Flu and COVID Vaccine program by using this Public Health online form. Public Health is transitioning to a single integrated program for ordering and distributing flu and COVID vaccines. Orders will be sent out every two weeks, though the timing of the first shipment is not yet known.

Doctors are encouraged to co-administer COVID and flu/​pneumococcal vaccines to minimize missed opportunities for vaccination, provided clients are eligible for these vaccines. 

A new XBB formulation is expected for the COVID booster vaccine this fall. NACI recommends a dose of the new formulation of COVID-19 vaccine for individuals in the authorized age group if it has been at least 6 months from the previous COVID-19 vaccine dose or known SARS-CoV‑2 infection (whichever is later). Immunization is particularly important for those at increased risk of COVID-19 infection or severe disease, for example:

  • Adults 65 years of age or older
  • Residents of long-term care homes and other congregate living settings
  • Individuals with underlying medical conditions that place them at higher risk of severe COVID-19
  • Individuals who are pregnant
  • Individuals in or from First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities
  • Members of racialized and other equity-deserving communities
  • People who provide essential community services
  • Manitoba’s COVID-19 vaccine eligibility criteria for the fall will be revised once information about which age groups are authorized to receive the new XBB formulation is released by Health Canada

You can view the full public health bulletin here. If you have questions, please contact the Communicable Disease Control Unit directly. 

Physician Leadership Training

Doctors Manitoba is pleased to offer four Physician Leadership Institute (PLI) courses to our members this year.

A free CMA​.ca account is required to register. Create your account and/​or log in here: cmalearn​ing​.saba​cloud​.com. Please register early because space is limited.

  1. September 21 – 22: Strength-based leadership (Virtual) Register here
  2. December 8 – 9: Creating healthy work culture through trauma-informed leadership (In Person) Register here
  3. Jan 18 – 19, 2024: Crucial conversations© in healthcare (Virtual) Register here
  4. March 21 – 22, 2024: Leadership strategies for sustainable physician engagement (Virtual) Register here

Click here for more information about the courses.

Physician of the Week

Dr. Carine Minders loves her role as a hospitalist, caring for interesting and complex patients who have been admitted with a provisional diagnosis from the hospital ER. For her, earning the trust of these patients, who are often at their most vulnerable moment of their lives, is a privilege. Even when first meetings require delivering bad news to a patient, Dr. Minders says she sees her work​“as an opportunity to impact or change patients’ lives as positively as I can even if the circumstances they find themselves in are grim.” In 2015 Dr. Minders established the first ever Trans Health Clinic in Brandon and, in 2016, she opened a clinic for patients infected with HIV in the Prairie Mountain Health Region. Colleagues working as hospitalists aspire to do so at the bar Dr. Minders has set.

Read more about Dr. Minders and other Physician of the Week feature stories.

Suggest a colleague to be featured as Physician of the Week.

Physician Feedback Requested

Gender Affirming Care Research: Chloe Macdonald is recruiting physicians to participate in a qualitative research study that aims to understand physicians’ experiences and perceptions of gender-affirming care for transgender youth under 18. There will be two groups of participants: those who have prescribed gender affirming care and those who have not. For more information, read this Instagram post or email mcdona71@​myumanitoba.​ca.

Diabetes Survey for Physicians: Youville Diabetes Centre in collaboration with health care practitioners is working to identify the gaps in diabetes health care services, education, resources, and supports available for persons living with diabetes. They would like to know what information will be most useful to physicians in Manitoba, in providing care and education for persons living with diabetes. Please complete this short 5 minute survey to provide your feedback.

What’s Next on Interest Rates?


For the second straight month, the Bank of Canada has increased its target for the overnight rate by 0.25%, bringing it to 5.0%. The Bank cites the resilience of economic growth, excess demand, and higher core inflation as reasons to restrict policy further.

Learn more from our partners at MD Financial and Scotiabank. 


Here are some of the most popular updates in recent newsletters, in case you missed them

Upcoming Events

Events can always be found on our website in the events calendar. If you have an event you’d like to share with members and have included in our calendar, forward all the information to general@​doctorsmanitoba.​ca.

Federation of Medical Women of Canada Conference

As current President of the Federation of Medical Women of Canada (FMWC), I invite you all to join us at our upcoming AGM & Educational Conference taking place September 23 – 24 in Calgary at the amazing Hotel Arts. Sessions are CFPC and RCPSC accredited and we will be focusing on topics which we think will be very valuable to you such as leadership skills development, advocacy, equity gaps in access, wellness and lots more. There’s also social events and an awards dinner which are great opportunities for networking. While we are always looking to welcome new members to FMWC, you do not need to be a member to attend the educational portion. Student travel awards are being offered and poster session abstracts are now being accepted. Visit www​.FMW​ for Registration and all meeting details. To become an FMWC member go to www​.FMWC​.ca. We hope you will join us for this exciting event!

Dr. Shelley Zieroth
President, Federation of Medical Women of Canada

Bug Day — Mark your calendars for 2023 27th Annual Bug Day! — October 17 7:55am-4pm — Held Virtually.

Interested in the prevention and control of communicable diseases, and health issues in the community or healthcare setting? Bug Day is for you! Nationally and internationally recognized experts will present timely topics in infectious diseases and public health at Manitoba’s largest healthcare education event. Held every year during National Infection Prevention & Control Week, Bug Day is streamed online – it’s FREE, accredited, and you’re invited!

The program is accredited for physicians and can be used for continuing education purposes by other health care workers. There is no charge, but you must register to attend the live sessions. You can make a donation directly to the HSC Foundation Bug Day fund. Click here to visit the donation page. This donation page will automatically generate a confirmation email and a tax receipt. Register here.

Doctors Manitoba Golf Tournament — September 5, 2023

Join us and connect with colleagues at our 2023 Getting Healthy Gold tournament at one of Manitoba’s premier championship courses, offering a fun non-competitive event open to all skill levels. This exciting event is an opportunity to connect with your colleagues. Facilities open at 11am | Lunch service between 11:15am – 12:45pm | Shotgun Start at 1PM | Dinner served following play Register now!

Other Events