In today’s message you will find:

Admin Burden Task Force Announced

We are pleased to announce that earlier today, the Joint Task Force to Reduce Administrative Burdens for Physicians was officially established!

The Task Force is a joint initiative between the province of Manitoba and Doctors Manitoba. Doctors Manitoba had recommended action on this following recommendations from members through our physician health Community of Practice initiative and our Rural Health Summit. A report released in April by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business helped to shine a spotlight on the issue, estimating that Manitoba physicians spent nearly 600,000 hours per year on unnecessary administrative work.

We are pleased to see the Task Force appointed so it can begin its important work,” said Dr. Candace Bradshaw, President, Doctors Manitoba. It’s estimated Manitoba physicians spend nearly 600,000 hours on unnecessary administrative tasks, a heavy burden that not only diverts doctors away from patient care, but is also a top contributor to physician burnout. We appreciate the government taking action on this important issue.”

Members of the Task Force were announced today, including physicians and others with health system leadership experience and red tape reduction expertise.

Physician members include:

  • Dr. Alexis Botkin, community-based specialist and a dermatologist based in Winnipeg, and a Director on the Doctors Manitoba Board.
  • Dr. Ian Alexander, a rural family physician and former president of the Manitoba College of Family Physicians, appointed by Doctors Manitoba;
  • Dr. Randy Guzman, hospital-based specialist and a vascular surgeon based at St. Boniface Hospital and a Director on the Doctors Manitoba Board.
  • Dr. Shawn Thomas, physician leader and regional medical specialty lead for primary health care, home care and community integration with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.

While the Task Force begins its work, it is already inviting physicians to identify unnecessary administrative burdens that could be eliminated, streamlined, or delegated. Doctors Manitoba has already received hundreds of suggestions through its annual member survey. Physicians can continue to send in suggestions to adminburden@​doctorsmanitoba.​ca.

Also joining the task force:

  • Dan Skwarchuk, health system leader, and regional lead, corporate services and chief financial officer, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.
  • Laura Jones, executive vice president and chief strategic officer, Canadian Federation of Independent Business, with specialized experience in red tape reduction.
  • Paul Pierlot, who will serve as co-chair, is a seasoned public sector leader with extensive experience leading red tape reduction and regulatory modernization initiatives in government and inter-jurisdictionally.
  • Keir Johnson, who will also serve as co-chair, Doctors Manitoba lead for strategy, communications and physician engagement, with a background in health services research, analytics and evaluation.

It is an honour to welcome the newly-appointed members of the joint task force who were selected for this important initiative based on their expertise and leadership,” said Gordon. The group will start work immediately to identify opportunities, provide efficiencies and make recommendations to reduce excessive and unnecessary administrative tasks currently undertaken by physicians.”

The joint task force will report to the Minister and Dr. Bradshaw and will be supported by staff from the provincial government and Doctors Manitoba. Doctors Manitoba will play a primary role in leading physician engagement to ensure planning and implementation are guided by physicians’ experience and advice. 

Awards Gala — Door Prize Revealed!

Have you bought your ticket yet to join us at the Gala? This is the signature event for the medical community. We have about 150 people confirmed so far. Last year, 500 guests attended.

Here are five great reasons to consider joining us:

  1. Connection: The Gala is an excellent opportunity to connect and catch up with colleagues you don’t see in your daily professional work. 
  2. Door Prize: We’ve just confirmed an excellent door prize for our Awards Gala on May 13. Everyone attending will be entered to win a Garmin GPS watch (retail value $450). This prize was generously donated by MD Financial / Scotiabank, the presenting sponsors for the Gala. 
  3. Great Cause: We will be supporting the Canada Ukraine Surgical Aid Program, a medical relief charity. This is the cause-of-choice for our Humanitarian Award recipient, Dr. Tamara McColl. 
  4. Weekend: Based on feedback from members, we are holding the Gala this year on a Saturday rather than a weeknight. Come early and stay late! 
  5. Celebrating the Profession: We are honouring nine extraordinary physicians 

We hope you will join us. You can find full details here along with a link to order tickets. Be sure to click on the members button to order tickets to get special reduced pricing for members and their guests.

Thank you to MD Financial and Scotiabank, our presenting sponsor and Bokhaut CPA, our platinum sponsor. 

AGM Door Prize!

Speaking of door prizes, attendees to our Annual General Meeting on May 11 will also be entered to win a door prize — a $500 Visa cash card! 

It’s easy to join the AGM this year, with in-person and virtual options. The AGM will include a vote on foundation changes to our by-laws. The aim is to strengthen our decision-making, ensuring members are at the heart of everything we do. The changes also seek to modernize our governance, including supporting a Board that is more inclusive and representative of our broader membership, including members’ professional and personal attributes. 

Register here today.

CADTH Call for Nominations

CADTH – Canada’s Drug and Health Technology Agency – is seeking nominations for its Board of Directors, and expert and advisory committees. We are currently accepting applications from individuals with significant expertise in the Canadian health care system who are interested in helping support health care decision-makers in making informed choices about health technologies. Some of these roles may be of particular interest to physician leaders.

In total, we are seeking 17 new members from across the country who have a range of education, experience, and skill sets. This is an exciting opportunity to help ensure that the Canadian health care system is the best it can be.

We are inviting nominations for the following:

LEARN MORE: Full details about each role, who is eligible to submit a nomination, and the nomination process are available on our website.

We are pleased to be offering an online nomination process. We ask that all interested individuals submit nominations via our online form by April 242023.

If you, or someone you know, is suitable for one of the available roles, please submit a nomination, or encourage them to submit a nomination. Thank you for taking the time to consider this request, and for sharing it with potential candidates. 

Health System Updates

Coverage Details — Insulin Pump & Advanced Glucose Monitors

As part of this year’s provincial budget, Manitoba Health is expanding coverage for insulin pumps and advanced glucose monitors:

  • Manitoba Pharmacare has extended coverage for advanced glucose monitors (AGMs) to all adults with Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes and who meet the established clinical criteria. The Exception Drug Status Request Pre-Approval Form is no longer required when prescribing AGMs to eligible patients.
  • Manitoba Health has expanded coverage for eligible Manitobans with Type 1 Diabetes who are 18 years of age and older to access Insulin Pumps. Patients will require pre-approval from an endocrinologist or Diabetes Specialist before ordering/​accessing an insulin pump. Insulin pump therapy may not be appropriate for all patients.

Shared Health has posted extensive information about eligibility, referral pathways, coverage and further information for providers and patients. You can access it here under Diabetes.

Nominate Pediatric Drugs for Priority List

Physicians are invited to nominate drugs for children that are urgently needed in Canada to help Health Canada develop its first National Priority List of Pediatric Drugs.

By way of background, in 2020, Health Canada, with support from the pediatric medical community, established the Pediatric Drug Action Plan (PDAP) to address longstanding barriers to accessing medicines for pediatric populations in Canada. The PDAP sets out regulatory, policy and other activities aimed at supporting Health Canada’s vision: that children and youth in Canada have access to the medicines they need in age-appropriate formulations. One of the actions in the PDAP is the establishment of a National Priority List of Pediatric Drugs (NPLPD). The purpose of this list is to identify pediatric drugs / formulations that are needed to address areas of high unmet pediatric need in Canada, and help facilitate their access on the Canadian market. 

To inform this work, Health Canada, in collaboration with the Pediatric External Reference Group, is seeking input from the pediatric medical and pharmacist community to help identify potential drugs for inclusion on the NPLPD. As such, physicians are invited to learn more and nominate a drug(s) for consideration by clicking here.

The nomination process will be open until May 14, 2023. Please feel free to forward this request to other members within your sections. Your participation in this nomination process is greatly appreciated.

Pain Clinic Expansion

Earlier this week, the provincial government announced $4 million in new funding to expand pain care in Manitoba. This followed months of advocacy by Doctors Manitoba, drawing attention to the massive backlog for pain care that was exacerbated during the pandemic. Our backlog monitoring suggested the number of patients waiting increased by over a third, with wait times reaching 30 to 40 months. 

The phased restructuring and expansion of the pain program, formerly known as the Provincial Pain Management Program, will add resources and improve current clinical processes at Winnipeg’s Health Sciences Centre (HSC) and Pan Am Clinic, and at the Brandon Regional Health Centre. A new pain care clinic will be established at Selkirk Regional Health Centre at the outpatient clinic and will include a C‑arm fluoroscopic X‑ray system. A satellite pain care clinic in Thompson will benefit from increased resources and appointment times at the two Winnipeg sites, the minister noted.

In the first phase, existing locations will schedule more patient appointments and perform additional procedures while recruitment is underway to add staff and clinical providers such as psychologists, physiotherapists and kinesiologists to existing multi-disciplinary teams. Clinical processes will be adapted and new equipment added, allowing patients to access care more quickly and, in some cases, closer to home. The investment will also increase the number of fluoroscopy-based pain procedures available to Manitobans by 5,400 per year.

Our goal is to improve the entire experience for Manitobans in pain by reducing wait times, improving access and addressing their pain in ways that may limit their need for medications,” said Dr. Chris Christodoulou, provincial medical specialty lead, anesthesia, and member of the Diagnostic and Surgical Recovery Task Force steering committee. We are excited at the opportunity to build a comprehensive pain care program to serve all Manitobans both today and into the future.”

Capacity at existing locations is expected to increase in the coming months, with the number of fluoroscopy procedures increasing almost immediately, the minister noted, adding that as staff are recruited additional appointments and services will be added, with the expanded program expected to be fully operational within the next year.

EIA Disability Webinar — on demand!

Last night, we held a webinar with senior officials from the Department of Families about changes to the EIA Disability program, and changes the medical assessment form that physicians complete, both effective April 12023

The short webinar is now available for on-demand viewing! You can access it here.


Major changes are coming April 1 to Manitoba’s Employment and Income Assistance Program for Manitobans with Disabilities (EIA Disability). This will have a direct impact on physicians who play an essential role providing medical assessments as part of the application or reassessment process. 

Currently, EIA Disability is open to individuals with both life-long and shorter term disabilities or medical conditions that prevent employment for 90 days or more. Starting April 1, this will be transformed into two new programs:

  • Manitoba Supports for Persons with Disabilities: Clients must be financially eligible and have prolonged and severe disability. A prolonged disability is one expected to be permanent, and a severe disability is one that results in barriers that significantly limit their activities of daily living or full participation in society. You can also learn more here about Manitoba Supports.
  • EIA Medical Barriers to Full Employment: Clients must be financially eligible and have a disability or medical condition that prevents them from working for more than one year, but may not be lifelong and/​or considered severe. This category is otherwise simply a renamed EIA Disability.

Have Your Say — Future of Family Medicine

There’s a common message many of us are hearing lately: primary care and family medicine are in crisis. While the reasons cited for this crisis are as varied as the solutions offered, there’s no question that something has to change. We are hearing regularly from family physicians who feel the current model of funding and support is outdated and not keeping up with escalating costs and increasing patient complexity. We also hear often from specialists who are also deeply concerned about primary care and their family medicine colleagues, and patients who cannot access a family physician.

For over a year now, we have been preparing and now negotiating the next Master Agreement for physicians, and we see this as a once-in-four-year opportunity to transform how the provincial government funds and supports family physicians delivering longitudinal primary care. We’ve spent considerable time studying how other jurisdictions are approaching this, reviewing the various supports and resources currently available in Manitoba, and consulting our members on what’s needed to help their practice survive and thrive.

It’s now time to have your say. We are inviting you to join a Town Hall event to help shape the future of family medicine and primary care!

The Town Hall will feature the following:

  • What needs fixing? Summary of the current challenges we’ve heard.
  • How can we fix it? Option to renew family medicine and primary care, including:
  • Overview of BC’s new Blended Remuneration Model and what it would mean in Manitoba.
  • Alternatives to a blended remuneration model. What’s happening in other provinces? What is the potential value of expanding or strengthening what we already have in Manitoba?
  • Feedback and discussion.

With a mix of education, discussion and feedback, Town Hall participants will learn more about how new funding and support models could help family physicians and renew primary care and have a chance to offer valuable feedback and help prioritize the wide range of policy options to modernize and renew family medicine and primary care.

The Town Halls will all be conducted virtually, on Zoom, and due to the interactive nature of the program a recording will not be available for on-demand viewing. 

Here’s the schedule and registration link:

Physician of the Week

Our Physician of the Week is Dr. Stacey Kitz, an ER Physician working in Brandon, the same town in which she was raised. Dr. Kitz loves the collaborative team environment at the Brandon Regional Health Centre ER and says that even on days where the medicine is challenging, we are short staffed, or over capacity, it is the teamwork and camaraderie in our department that pulls us together and pulls us through.” She gets to work with patients of all ages and enjoys the challenge of quickly establishing rapport and trust with patients because of the episodic nature of the specialty. Interactions like a high five from a once nervous pediatric patient can make all the difference in the hectic ER. Dr. Kitz values physician health and wellness and has worked tirelessly as a member of the PMH region hub in our Physician Health and Wellness Community of Practice over the last three years. She once graciously turned down a legitimate marriage proposal from a patient. He was 5.

For 2023, Doctors Manitoba has established a new way to recognize dedicated and hardworking physicians. Our Physician of the Week initiative has been recognizing physicians weekly. They 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. Read more about Dr. Hensel.

→ Suggest a colleague as Physician of the Week here.

→ Read about other Physicians of the Week so far this year here.


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 Events

Life After Retirement

Retirement is an important life stage for physicians. Most information on retirement focuses on financial considerations and the practical aspects of closing a medical practice. Those discussions are certainly important but also limiting, as they miss an essential aspect of retirement — how to develop a meaningful and rewarding life after medicine.

Life after Retirement’ is an interactive, half-day workshop. It is designed specifically for physicians contemplating retirement or who are already fully retired. The workshop will help to manage this important life transition by answering the following questions: 

  • Who am I now? What will I do? 
  • How will I keep intellectually and socially active? 
  • How will I organize my days? 

The process is very practical and addresses also other important issues such as ageism, flexibility and renewed relationships. 

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify common obstacles to a successful retirement
  2. Develop plans for a meaningful life with a renewed identity
  3. Develop structures to avoid mental, physical and social stagnation
  4. Organize their days in a leisurely fashion

Facilitator: Dr. Philippe Erhard
Date and Time: April 24, 12:30 – 4:30 pm
Location: Virtual via Zoom (link provided when registration is confirmed)

Leadership for Equity: Expanding Inclusive Medical Culture virtual speaker series.

On April 20 we will be hosting Dr. Julia Chronopoulos for her session on 2SLGBTQ+ Health. Dr. Chronopoulos’ talk focuses on how to make health spaces more queer-friendly. This involves an overview of terminology in the 2SLGBTQ+ community, as well as approaches to challenging norms that are the foundation of medical teaching. Click here for more information, and to register for the session.

If you missed the first session in the series, Intent, Harm & Action by Dr. Saroo Sharda and are interested in viewing the recording, please click here to view Dr. Sharda’s talk .

MCFP Annual Scientific Assembly — April 28

The Manitoba College of Family Physicians invites you to join their Annual Scientific Assembly with virtual and in-person options!

Other Events