In today’s message you will find:

New Extended Hours Premium for Primary Care

Starting February 1, physicians working in primary care will have the option of accessing additional funding to support extending their hours of operation. This follows a government announcement late last year to create incentives to extend primary care clinic hours, which was part of their Health Human Resource Action Plan, and follows continued advocacy from Doctors Manitoba to send more resources and supports for physicians and their patients. 

The new extended hours premium is one tool that will be available to family physicians and pediatricians who offer patient care after hours. Key details include:

  • The new 20% premium can be claimed for visits offered during extended hours. 
  • Extended hours include early mornings, evenings, weekends and holidays. 
  • Clinics that already offer extended hours can claim the premium as well to sustain their after hours operations.
  • Participation is optional and there is no on-going commitment required.
  • Extended access can be offered to your existing patients only, or it can be used to offer new walk-in capacity as well. 

Interested? Want to learn more?

You can get all of the details in this billing advice article we have prepared for you, including a link to the rate table. Please note tariff numbers have not yet been assigned, and we will advise you when they are available. 

We will also be offering a webinar to explain how the new premium works and how to optimize your practice and visits for extended hours operations.

This new premium for extended hours is somewhat unique in Canada, so it will be evaluated for an 18-month period. Doctors Manitoba is aware that for many, a premium of 20% alone may not make extending hours feasible for your practice. We also recognize that this is not the only tool or resource needed to address the primary care crisis. We continue to press for a variety of solutions to support physicians in primary care. We are also pressing for more support for specialists and physicians working in all settings.

Meet Dr. Amrit Malik, our Physician of the Week!

Our third Physician of the Week is Dr. Amrit Malik, an academic cardiologist focused on heart failure and echocardiography. She got in to medicine after being inspired by the care her father received at St. Boniface Hospital, where she now works. She also has roles at HSC and the University of Manitoba. For her, medicine is a rewarding career: it is such a privilege to be able to help people in a time of need and hopefully make a positive difference in their lives.” Dr. Malik is described by colleagues as extremely attentive and diligent” and she is appreciated by rural and urban physicians. She is worried about her colleagues these days, struggling to advocate for their patients in a broken health care system. One way of coping is humour, and she uses her past experience in improv to bring some laughs while connecting with colleagues. Read more about Dr. Malik, our Physician of the Week

What is Physician of the Week? For 2023, we have established a new way to recognize dedicated and hardworking physicians. The Doctors Manitoba Physician of the Week will exemplify the best of the medical profession, including a commitment to delivering exceptional patient care, to supporting the health and wellness of their colleagues, and/​or to leadership in the medical profession.

You can suggest a colleague as Physician of the Week here.

CPSM Introduces Fast Track Registration 

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba introduced a fast-track registration option for out-of-province physicians to practice in Manitoba. The new pathway expedites registration for physicians who meet national standards for full registration, meaning physicians fully licensed in another province can begin practicing in Manitoba faster. 

Documentation and information required for registration in Manitoba include medical school diplomas, certificates of postgraduate studies, and certificates of professional conduct from all jurisdictions where a physician has previously registered and/​or practiced. Requesting, obtaining, and submitting these records can add weeks or months to the process, particularly if the applicant requires documents from international institutions.

Fast-Track Registration reduces the administrative burden on the physician applying, saving them time and the effort required to obtain records. There is no risk to public safety – the established qualifications for registration remain the same and must be met. 

Fast Track Registration allows physicians who qualify for full, unrestricted licensure and are in good standing with another college in a Canadian jurisdiction that has already validated and verified their records to bypass submitting these records when they apply for registration in Manitoba. Physicians must also have up-to-date continuing professional development hours and a Certificate of Professional Conduct that is clear of any significant issues from another college in a Canadian jurisdiction.

It is a step towards national recognition of medical professional qualifications,” said Dr. Anna Ziomek, CPSM Registrar and CEO. Fast Track Registration supports the mobility of physicians within the country by providing an accelerated application process that will make practicing in Manitoba more attractive for out-of-province physicians.

Manitoba follows B.C., the first jurisdiction to roll out a fast-track licensure last year, and Newfoundland and Labrador, which is making legislative amendments to ease the process for out-of-province physicians to become licensed. 

More information is available on the CPSM website at cpsm​.mb​.ca/​r​e​g​i​s​t​r​a​t​i​o​n​/​f​a​s​t​-​t​r​a​c​k​-​r​e​g​i​s​t​r​ation.

Meanwhile, Ontario made headlines with a plan to recognize health care workers licensed in other provinces to start immediately practicing in Ontario:

Leadership for Equity Series

Leadership has a measurable impact on the wellness and satisfaction of teams. So, too, does a physicians’ knowledge and practice of equity and inclusion. Doctors Manitoba and the University of Manitoba, Office of Leadership Education for Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, are continuing their Joint Leadership Education Series to support physician leadership pathways.

Leadership for Equity: Expanding Inclusive Medical Culture is a multi-part series that will feature speakers with expertise and lived experience in anti-oppression fundamentals, racism, decolonization and Indigenous health, 2SLGBTQIA+ health and advocacy, and ableism. This series will cultivate knowledge and tools for ongoing integration of anti-oppression in practice.

Session 1: Intent, Harm and Action: Understanding Bias, Discrimination and Racism in Healthcare March 23, 2023 6:30 – 8pm

Dr. Saroo Sharda with explore the concept of bias and implicit bias and challenge the notion that physicians are​‘neutral’ and​‘objective.’

Learning Objectives:

  • Define concepts of bias and discrimination including racism 
  • Describe how bias and discrimination affect healthcare outcomes and physician wellness
  • Describe the concepts of cultural humility and critical allyship as tools to combat discrimination

CMPA Rebate Applications Coming

We are pleased to announce that we are opening up applications for your rebate on your 2022 CMPA (liability insurance) fees. Physicians will be receiving a message in the next few days with information on how to apply. With the new Member Portal, you will be able to apply online and enroll in direct deposit. This will allow us to offer you expedited and more convenient rebate payments. 

Watch your email, or mail, for the application notice. If you have any questions, you can contact us at benefits@​doctorsmanitoba.​ca.

Also, we extended the 2021 CME Rebate Applications to January 31. If you haven’t yet applied for a rebate on your 2021 CME expenses, we’ve extended the deadline. 

Respiratory Virus Updates

Surveillance Update

Manitoba Public Health produces a weekly report on respiratory viruses. Below are highlights from this week’s report.

COVID Surveillance

This week’s report covers the week ending January 14 and shows similar activity for COVID compared to recent weeks. Highlights include:

  • There were 28 hospital admissions, down from 38 last week and a continued steady decline over the last five weeks. This week included 6 ICU admissions, down from 7 last week. Weekly hospital admissions last peaked at 264 in the week ending April 16.
  • There were no COVID deaths recorded over the last week. 
  • There were 122 lab-confirmed cases reported in Manitoba, down from 125 last week.
  • The test positivity rate was 12.3%, up from 10.3% last week.
  • Wastewater surveillance data from January indicates sustained activity of COVID-19 in Winnipeg and Brandon at lower levels. 

Influenza & RSV

Influenza activity continues to decrease. Highlights include:

  • Test positivity for influenza A was 1.9% this week, down from 2.8% last week. The predominant strain circulating right now is still Influenza A (H3N2), with 18 lab confirmed cases (down from 52 last week) and 0 cases for Influenza B.
  • There were 2 hospital admissions as a result of flu/​RSV, down from 12 last week.
  • There were 1,473 respiratory related visits to EDs in the province this week, down from 1,759 last week.
  • RSV is also circulating with an 8.7% test positivity rate, down from 10.6% last week.

New Alcohol Guidelines

The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) has updated its guidelines for the first time in 11 years. The recommendations drastically reduce the amount of alcohol consumption that’s considered safe by health experts, who are increasingly pushing authorities to add cancer warning labels to alcohol. The report, which was released on Tuesday, reports that no amount of alcohol is safe and recommends no more than 2 drinks a week for men and women, a significant change from the previous recommendations of 15 drinks a week for men and 10 drinks a week for women. The new guidelines say even three to six drinks a week increases the risk of developing certain cancers, while more than seven drinks a week increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, with the danger going up with each additional drink. The report is based on nearly 6,000 peer-reviewed studies and draws links between alcohol use and at least seven types of cancers.

Thankfully a growing number of alcohol producers have been formulating low-alcohol or alcohol-free options in recent years in response to more mindful drinking from campaigns like Dry January’ or those who are sober curious’.

Health in the News

Another busy week of health news. We’ve curated the top stories with exclusive access to subscription-only content. 

Doctors Manitoba President Dr. Candace Bradshaw appeared on CBC National News on the weekend to talk about boosting Manitoba’s below-average vaccine uptake and how the health system is struggling. Watch here.

The Ontario government introduced a plan to add surgical capacity in private clinics. The plan has drawn mixed reactions, including from physicians:

Here in Manitoba, a contract was announced to add more capacity for sleep disorder studies with a private company called Cerebra. See their news story here. We have just learned about this new third-party contract for sleep disorder studies so we are taking a closer look at this with physicians, both those who request tests for their patients, and those specialists involved in conducting the tests. Our main concern with any new third-party contract is the potential for it to create duplication, fragmentation, or inefficiencies in the delivery of care for patients. What matters most to physicians is that their patients can obtain the right procedure, in a timely way, that is well-coordinated with the rest of the care they receive. Our earlier monitoring of the pandemic backlog found the wait list for sleep tests had doubled.

The government announced today that the backlog for ultrasound tests has been eliminated, with wait times now lower than before the pandemic. This follows Doctors Manitoba advocacy on the pandemic backlog for surgical and diagnostic procedures. See the government update here.

There were several other stories of interest this week, including:


Here are some of our top recent posts, in case you missed them. 

Upcoming Events

Upcoming events are always listed on our events calendar.

Featured Event

Leadership for Equity: Expanding Inclusive Medical Culture
Session 1: Intent, Harm and Action: Understanding Bias, Discrimination and Racism in Healthcare
- March 23, 2023 6:30 – 8 PM

Dr. Sharda’s presentation explores the concept of bias and implicit bias. It challenges the notion that physicians are​‘neutral’ and​‘objective.’ She will provide definitions of bias, racism and colonialism and explain how power (personal and social) is needed to create and maintain systems of oppression. She will delineate systems vs interpersonal discrimination and how they feed into each other. Dr. Sharda will speak about intent vs impact (and harm) and provide examples from the healthcare context about how this harm can manifest to patients, physicians, and learners. She will introduce the ideas of privilege and oppression via the Coin Model of Privilege. Dr. Sharda’s presentation offers an approach for students, doctors and medical professionals to start their journey of learning and unlearning — drawing on the concepts of Miller’s Pyramid, narrative humility and critical allyship and provides guided opportunities to self-reflect on the concepts presented.

Other Events