In today’s message you will find:
DRMB Awards Nominations Reminder

Fantastic Physicians

Doctors Manitoba Joins Call to Fix Health Care

Austerity Survey Invitation

Respiratory Virus Update

Health System Updates

Health in the News


Upcoming Events

Nominations Due Soon for our 2023 Awards!

The deadline is approaching to submit nominations for the 2023 Doctors Manitoba Awards, with submissions due by December 15, 2022. If you are planning on submitting but need a modest extension, please request this by emailing Keir Johnson at kjohnson@​doctorsmanitoba.​ca.

The Doctors Manitoba Awards are the highest honour in the province for physicians. There is no shortage of physicians who have been demonstrating excellence this year and throughout their careers. There are different awards available to recognize physicians and residents, plus a special award for this year only focused on recognizing a physician health champion. Our humanitarian award has been redefined this year to recognize modern medical humanitarianism or community service. You can learn more about the awards criteria and nomination requirements here.

Nominate a colleague today.

Fantastic Physicians

Congratulations to Kayla Kostal and Darrien Morton who both won the Rady’s Dean Prize. The Graduate Student Achievement Prize recognizes exceptional academic achievement, strong leadership skills and notable personal service of graduate students in the health sciences. 

  • Kayla Kostal will be researching mental illness and dementia in persons with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities using population-based data housed and maintained by the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy. 
  • Darrien Morton is focused on understanding how Indigenous kids in foster care fare based on various placement types and their effects on mental health. 

Dr. Jonathan Wong, an Internal Medicine Specialist, proves doctors can have many talents and always have big hearts! Dr. Wong recognizes the importance of secure housing as a social determinant of health . Safe housing and a sense of home have substantial positive effects on health and well-being. His newest album In Repair” (September 2022), is his take on John Mayer’s album Continuum” with cello as the feature instrument. Creating his own version of this album initially served as a coping mechanism for his own personal journey. Dr. Wong hopes that the completed project will serve not only as a form of musical expression but also to facilitate the improvement of affordable housing as a social determinant of health. 100% of proceeds of sales are going to Habitat for Humanity Manitoba. The album has already raised nearly $11,000. Almost ten years ago, his album Keys to Home” raised over $17,000 for Habitat for Humanity Manitoba. Both of Dr. Wong’s Habitat albums are also streaming on all major platforms and all streaming revenue will also go toward the cause. Be sure to search for DR. Jonathan Wong. You can purchase and download Dr. Wong’s album here.

Doctors Manitoba Joins Call to Fix Health Care

Earlier this week, Doctors Manitoba and medical associations from across Canada took the unusual step of joining together to urge the Premiers and Prime Minister to urgently address the health system crisis. The joint letter from medical associations calls on the federal, provincial and territorial governments to collaborate immediately, beginning with an agreement to increase federal health funding with clear accountability to patients to improve their access to care. 

Physicians are disappointed that meaningful commitments to pan-Canadian collaboration and increased health care funding did not emerge from the recent health ministers’ meeting in Vancouver. Health care is in crisis in every province and territory in Canada. Patients cannot access the care they need in a timely fashion and physicians are rapidly burning out. 

On behalf of Canada’s doctors, we respectfully urge First Ministers to advance meaningful action for the patients of Canada,” reads a letter.​“The gaps in our health care system are growing wider with every day that passes without the necessary political leadership to address the growing crisis.”

Dr. Candace Bradshaw, President of Doctors Manitoba, explained that the CMA would normally take on national advocacy on its own, but this situation is different. This is unusual because we’ve never done this as a group of provincial and territorial presidents, who have come together to collaborate and urge collectively because of how bad this crisis is. Right now, things are at a standstill.”

She explained that for physicians who are working in a health system that is underresourced and in constant crisis, watching the political fight play out in the media is distressing. We’re still sitting, waiting, going to work everyday functioning in a dysfunctional system, coming home and seeing the news that yet again there’s no progress.”

To read the full letter from medical associations to first minister, please click here.

Today, following the joint letter, Canada’s premiers held a joint press conference to repeat their call for a meeting with the Prime Minister to meet and hammer out an agreement” on health funding, inviting him to set a date in January. 

Austerity Survey Invitation

There is still time to add your voice to a research project exploring the impact of government austerity in Manitoba. Physicians are underrepresented in this survey of public sector workers, so Doctors Manitoba is encouraging you to consider participating. You should have received a link in the Doctors Manitoba newsletter on November 18. If you need a link to complete the survey, you can contact the researcher directly at jesse.​hajer@​umanitoba.​ca.

The researchers seek to document the opinions, experiences, and perspectives on the impact of provincial government austerity on public services, and the work conditions for public sector workers and professionals, including physicians. Austerity includes staffing cuts, restraints, privatization, and contracting out. The work will be published, including through the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. You can learn more about the project here, and view a letter from the researchers here .

Respiratory Virus Update

Respiratory Virus Update

Manitoba Public Health has shifted from a Thursday COVID report to a Friday weekly report on respiratory viruses, given the triple virus threat in the province right now. Below are highlights from this week’s report.

COVID Surveillance

This week’s report covers the week ending December 3 and shows decreased activity for COVID compared to recent weeks. Highlights include:

  • There were 76 hospital admissions, down from 82 last week. This includes 7 ICU admissions, down from 19 last week. Weekly hospital admissions last peaked at 264 in the week ending April 16.
  • There were fewer than 5 deaths recorded, the same as last week. 
  • There were 251 lab-confirmed cases reported in Manitoba, down from 281 the previous week.
  • The test positivity rate was 14.5%, down from 15.4 % last week.

Influenza & RSV

Due to an influx of influenza laboratory reports this respiratory season, Manitoba Health is experiencing delays in the documentation of laboratory results within the provincial Public Health Information Management System (PHIMS). As a result, the influenza case counts for this week are lower than expected.

  • The predominant strain circulating right now is Influenza A (H3N2).
  • Test positivity for influenza A was 19.5% this week, down from 21.4% last week. 
  • Children under the age of 5 are at the highest risk for influenza infection, accounting for 12% of all cases and 20% of associated hospital admissions. 
  • There were 2302 respiratory related visits to EDs in the province this week.
  • RSV is also circulating with a 4.0% test positivity rate, up from 2.2% last week.

While respiratory visits to ERs was down this week, it is still significantly higher than the pre-pandemic normal range, as seen in the graph below:

Health System Updates

COVID Vaccine Changes

Manitoba Public Health issued bulletins today about COVID vaccines. 

  • Bivalent booster expanded to 5 – 11 year olds: The first notice confirmed that starting today, Health Canada has authorized the use of Pfizer’s pediatric bivalent vaccine as a booster dose for children between 5 and 11 years old. Physicians should use tariff 8221 for administering this vaccine. 
  • A second notice outlines a few important updates: COVID vaccines can now be concurrently administered with other vaccines for children between 6 months and 5 years old. The notice also addresses the protocol for administering mRNA vaccines with patients who have an allergy to contract material (e.g. CT dye). 

Physicians are encouraged to review both updates. 

New STBBI Report Form and Tariff

Manitoba Public Health issued a bulletin today about a new report form and tariff for sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBIs) or STI treatment. The bulletin includes links to the fillable PDF forms. 

Doctors Manitoba worked with the province on new tariffs for these forms. Tariffs for completion of this form are approved on a temporary basis to support the enhanced

STBBI response efforts:

  • 8010 – Completion of pages 1 and 2 – $20
  • 8011 – Completion of contact information (page 3) – only payable with a corresponding claim for 8010 for the same patient, and only payable once per patient even if additional contacts are subsequently added – $30

We announced the new tariffs last week to coincide with World Aids Day. The Manitoba HIV Program released a concerning report that day, highlighting a major increase in HIV diagnoses in the past few years. Read more here.

New Requests for Diagnostic and Surgical Services

The Manitoba government has issued new requests for supply arrangements (RFSAs) for a range of diagnostic and surgical services. Proposals must be submitted by December 15

The government has expressed an interest in both private and public sector proposals. Physicians interested in submitting a proposal in a public facility should work with facility leadership (COO and CMO) on a submission. Independent physicians can submit proposals for their own private clinics or facilities. 

Two RFSAs have been issued. Bids should contribute to addressing the backlog created during the pandemic. 

  • Surgical Services — A wide variety of surgical services including pediatric ENT/​general surgery, adult ENT/​general surgery, cataracts, spine procedures, bariatrics, gynecological procedures, orthopedics, plastics, urology, vascular and endoscopy. 
  • Diagnostic Services — including but not limited to allergy testing, pulmonary function tests, surgical pathology, sleep tests, and imaging such as CT, MRI, ultrasound, mammograms, echocardiograms, and bone density scans.

New Online Education on Sexual Health Care for Adolescents

The Canadian Paediatric Society is offering a new online CPD module: Comprehensive sexual health care for adolescents / Des soins de santé sexuelle complets auprès des adolescents

Until the end of 2022, CFPC members can receive free access to the module by using coupon code ASHCFPC at checkout. Visit https://​ped​a​gogy​.cps​.ca to register. 

Available in English and French, this module describes best practices in providing quality sexual health care to adolescents, using client-centred approaches, anticipatory guidance, and motivational interviewing to help adolescents adopt safer sexual practices. 

Health in the News

This has been a busy week for health in the news:

DRMB in the News

Health System in the News


Here are some important and popular recent updates, in case you missed them:

Upcoming Events

Upcoming events are always listed on our events calendar.

PLI Course: Creating healthy work culture through trauma-informed leadership (in-house) — March 3 & 4 from 9:30am‑3:30pm

The world has experienced a collective trauma through the COVID-19 pandemic. Canadian physicians were demonstrating disproportionately higher rates of burnout, depression and suicidal ideation before the pandemic: they were already a traumatized workforce. Further mental health impacts and workforce shortages are predicted among health care workers after the pandemic. Medical leaders may be unaware of the role trauma plays at the individual, team and system levels. This course develops leadership skills to foster recovery, build wellness and promote post-traumatic growth in the health care workforce. Delivered as an interactive workshop, it will facilitate a shift to a wellness-informed mindset and encourage you to apply key wellness-informed leadership practices at all levels. The virtual course runs March 3 – 4 from 9:30am‑3:30pm and has been accredited by the College of Family Physicians of Canada for a minimum of 11 Manipro-M1 credits. Space is limited and the deadline for registration is February 1, 2023. Register for this course here and download a poster for the course here.

We’ve added new Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (with mindfulness) CBTm courses for the new year!

Webinar for New and Transitions in Practice
We will be holding a webinar next week designed for physicians who are new to practice or considering transitioning their practice. If you are interested in attending the webinar will be held on December 13 at 6:30PM. You can register here.