In this week’s message you will find:

Doctors Manitoba Advocates at Government Throne Speech

Earlier this week, the Manitoba government delivered its annual Speech from the Throne, outlining the government’s plans for the next year. Our President, Dr. Candace Bradshaw, was invited as a special guest to attend the Speech at the Legislature. While there, she was able to meet with key members of the government and opposition parties to discuss physicians’ concerns and priorities, including the need to act quickly to bring more supports and resources to the front lines. 

She was also able to offer a reaction on behalf of Doctors Manitoba to the government’s health commitments in the Throne Speech. The government’s commitments include: 

  • Reinforcing last week’s $200 million announcement to retain, train and recruit more physicians and nurses, including several actions we have proposed to offer immediate relief and support for physicians.
  • A multi-billion long term capital commitment to improve hospitals in Winnipeg, building on the $812 million invested in rural facilities.
  • Increasing mental health and addictions treatment spaces to 1,000 with a recovery-oriented approach

The Speech also outlined a commitment to explore any and all avenues to get Manitobans the help they need now, including the potential for expanding the private component of the existing public-private blended delivery of health care. This commitment has garnered a lot of attention. Premier Heather Stefanson explained that expanding private delivery would not result in user fees. If you look at other provinces… they have a significant private sector component that they contract out to within their provinces. We have lagged behind, because there was an ideological approach that was taken for decades here in our province. We’re getting beyond that. And we are going to look to the private sector to help be part of the solution.“

Opposition leader Wab Kinew called the move wrong” and argued it will create a situation in Manitoba where the care that you receive is determined not by your needs, but by your bank account. Several unions were quick to condemn the exploration of private health care.

Dr. Bradshaw offered a more thoughtful and patient-focused response, reserving judgment. I think we need to listen to what exactly that entails, because this is news to us right now.” She pointed out that a mix of private delivery already occurs, from private independent doctors’ offices, to private non-profit PCHs and community health agencies, to private for-profit surgical centres that were contracted under previous governments. What’s most important, she explained, is that patients get better access to care based on their medical need, without facing any new barriers.

You’re Invited: DRMB Holiday Open House

We’re trying something new this year, responding to many members who want more opportunities to connect after a lot of professional isolation during the pandemic. 

Join us for our Holiday Open House at our new(ish) Bannatyne Office!

  • When: Wednesday, December 7, 3:00 — 7:00 PM
  • Where: DRMB @ Bannatyne Office (located at the Joe Doupe Concourse, 2nd flood of the Basic Medical Sciences Building at the UM Bannatyne campus medical school — see map here)
  • Appetizers and drinks will be available. 

Please RSVP by December 1

Better Support for Primary Care Physicians

We have received calls from many family physicians lately, and they all have a common theme: we need more support and resources. Some have asked questions about the new primary care model announced recently in BC. Others have asked about changes to strengthen rural, northern and remote practice. And several have asked about supports to extend their hours and incorporate other health providers into their practice.

We want you to know that Doctors Manitoba hears you. We are on it. First, our immediate focus is to get action under the government’s new health human resource action plan, which was announced last week in response to our recent advocacy about physician shortages and burnout. We are pressing for action within weeks on a number of areas to help stabilize and better support primary care, though these investments are either one-time or time-limited.

Second, we are seeking improvements through the negotiation of a new Master Agreement. We have taken a comprehensive approach to prepare for these negotiations, with our strategy rooted in the concerns and advice from you, our members. This preparation has included:

  • Continuous monitoring of developments in other jurisdictions, most recently in BC and Alberta.
  • Working closely with the Section of Family Practice executive and its economic committee, elected by family physicians. 
  • Striking Special Committees to review and make recommendations on virtual care and innovative family practice.
  • Incorporating ongoing member feedback through surveys, emails, meetings and other outreach.

The new longitudinal family practice model in BC has captured a lot of attention lately, even being described as a seismic” shift for primary care. It couldn’t have been announced at a better time with regard to our negotiations cycle. The new model, set to begin February 1, provides a family physician with the option to move to a blended payment model that includes a basic hourly rate, a simplified patient encounter fee, and an annual fee for each patient in their panel. This model will be available to Family Physicians who provide longitudinal comprehensive care to their patients.

Our team has carefully reviewed the BC announcement, including the information and webinars available to BC physicians. We’ve also monitored the many questions BC physicians have been asking. There are still important details not yet available, with current information only offering averages or samples, but not the complete fee schedule and obligations after signing on. Nevertheless, our analysis using the information available so far suggests many elements of the BC model could be beneficial for some family physicians here in Manitoba, particularly those interested in longitudinal care and spending more time on complex medical issues. If you are looking at the BC model and running the numbers, please keep in mind the limited information and that we expect a more complete picture to emerge in the weeks ahead.

We recognize the excitement for some family physicians about the BC announcement, and we are studying it closely like we do with major development in any provinces: we are analyzing it to identify those components that would be better support physicians here in Manitoba, and incorporating this into our advocacy and negotiations.

As always, we welcome your questions and advice. Contact us practiceadvice@​doctorsmanitoba.​ca.

Respiratory Virus Updates

A recent member survey showed that 96% of Manitoba physicians are concerned about hospitals being overwhelmed this fall and winter. The survey also told us that 93% of doctors are worried about the health and well-being of Manitobans. Showing Manitobans their trust in vaccines, over 95% of our members have either gotten or plan to get a flu shot and a fall COVID booster.

On Wednesday we sent out a press release and held a virtual press conference where our President Dr. Candace Bradshaw, President-Elect Dr. Michael Boroditsky and HSC Board Representative Dr. William Li spoke with reporters about doctors’ concerns surrounding the high levels of respiratory virus transmission in the province. Doctors Manitoba is strongly recommending Manitobans take some precautions that will help slow the spread and hopefully reduce the pressure on the health care system, especially the hospitals and ERs.

These precautions are similar to the fundamentals recommended these past two years and include:

  • Get a flu shot and fall COVID booster. 
  • Wear a mask in crowded or poorly ventilated public places. 
  • Wash or sanitize your hands frequently. 
  • Stay at home when sick. 

We are also asking Manitobans to prepare for infections in their families by ensure their household has:

  • Rapid antigen tests for COVID-19 on hand, which are still available for free at many locations. 
  • Good quality masks available, with medical or KN-95 masks offering better protection. 
  • Plans in place for household members to stay home when ill, including children. 

→ Help us spread the word by sharing these images to your social media platforms.

New Resource Guide for Retirement or Practice Closure

After a long career of helping thousands of patients, transitioning to retirement is a big change for physicians. For some, retirement may mean cutting back to part time work, while others will seek to wind down their practice completely. Through collaboration with a committed group of senior physicians, we have developed a complete guide to support physicians as they prepare for retirement. It is never too late (or too early) to start planning for retirement.

The Resource Guide for Retirement or Practice Closure has been designed for medical learners and practicing and retired physicians to support them throughout their medical career and beyond. There are many reasons why a physician may reduce or stop practicing medicine at any point along their career path. This resource is intended to offer information and practical advice to make the process as stress free as possible. It provides helpful checklists, guidance and suggested supports you can use through every phase of winding down or transferring your practice.

We look forward to creating opportunities for retired physicians to connect and to continue to play a role with Doctors Manitoba. We welcome feedback on this new resource for members. A dynamic group of physicians met on six occasions since September 2021 to help development this guide. Thank you to Dr. Brian Ritchie (Chair), Dr. Debbie Mabin (Co-Chair), Dr. Rob Kippen, Dr. Philippe Erhard, Dr. Noah Carpenter, Dr. Murray Cameron, Dr. Fern Karlicki, Dr. Jonathon Werier, and Dr. Jacqueline Watts for their valuable insight and input as we built this resource.

Explore the new Resource Guide for Retirement or Practice Closure

CMA Leadership & Award Opportunities

There are several leadership opportunities open right now with the Canadian Medical Association, and we are encouraging Manitoba physicians to consider applying!

President ‑Elect (apply by November 22)

It’s Manitoba’s turn to elect the next President-Elect for the Canadian Medical Association! The President of the CMA is the primary spokesperson for the CMA’s work. They represent the CMA in the media, as well as to provincial and territorial medical associations, government and other stakeholder organizations. They serve on the CMA Board of Directors for three consecutive years as President-Elect (202324), President (202425) and immediate Past-President (202526). The CMA is committed to leadership that reflects the diversity of the medical profession and the communities they serve and encourage eligible members of all backgrounds and experiences to put themselves forward. While submitting their candidacy, applicants are invited to self-identify with various attributes, including age, gender, sexual identity, ethnicity/​race, indigeneity and disability. For more information on the selection of the CMA President-Elect, click here. Applications must be submitted by November 22. If you have any questions or need additional information, email elections@​cma.​ca. You can also contact us at Doctors Manitoba by emailing general@​doctorsmanitoba.​ca.

Nominations for CMA Awards (apply by November 30)

The CMA nominations for its annual awards close on November 30. The CMA Awards celebrate significant contributions to health, health care and the medical profession. Nominations should reflect the diversity of the profession and the communities physicians serve. Please note that, with the exception of two awards – the Owen Adams Award of Honour and the John McCrae Memorial Medal, which are open to non-CMA members – nominations can only be submitted by and for CMA members in good standing. Spanning 10 categories, recipients include changemakers from different career stages, backgrounds and geographic regions. One non-physician is also recognized every year. The deadline for nominations is Nov. 30, 2022. All nominations must be submitted electronically using the online nomination form and include a nomination letter, two letters of support and the nominee’s biography or CV. The CMA Awards Committee will review all submissions in Feb. 2023

Information on preparing nominations, including online forms, a simplified checklist and terms of reference for each award, is available at cma​.ca/​a​wards. If you would like to nominate a colleague and would like assistance preparing your nomination, please contact our Communications Coordinator Jody Sie at jsie@​doctorsmanitoba.​ca.

Committee Opportunities (apply by December 5)

There are several opportunities to join the CMA Committees. This includes:

  • Manitoba Representative for CMA Nominations Committee (click here)
  • Member for the Committee on the Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (click here)

Board Opportunities (apply by March 162023)

There are several opportunities to join the CMA Board or Committees. This includes:

  • Manitoba Representative for CMA Board of Directors (click here)
  • Member at Large for Audit and Finance Committee (any province) (click here)
  • Medical resident member for Committee on Ethics (any province) (click here)

Nominate a Colleague

The 2023 Doctors Manitoba Awards Nominations are open and are due by December 15, 2022. 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.

Nominate a colleague today.

There are five different awards available to recognize physicians: 

  • Humanitarian Award (new criteria) – to celebrate a current or former member of Doctors Manitoba for their outstanding contributions to improving human well-being or their commitment to community service. New this year, Doctors Manitoba will now offer to support the humanitarian or community service work of the winner, including a significant financial contribution to the charity or non-profit organization of the award winner’s choice and/​or promoting that charity or non-profit organization and soliciting donations at our Annual Awards Gala. 
  • Physician of the Year Award – to celebrate an exceptional achievement or contribution to the practice of medicine and/​or to the community by a member of Doctors Manitoba. 
  • Resident of the Year – for excellence in academic and clinical training and noteworthy contributions to the resident’s home program/​specialty or residency program.
  • Distinguished Service Award – to recognize a long career of services to patients and the community that embodies the highest standards and ideals of the medical profession, and in the promotion of the art and science of medicine through teaching, writing and administration. This is an excellent option to consider for physicians approaching retirement or who have recently retired.
  • Medal of Excellence – to recognize those who demonstrate excellence in the medical profession and whose actions are a source of inspiration for other physicians. 
  • Special Medal of Excellence for Physician Health — we have designated one Medal of Excellence this year as a special award to recognize a champion for improving physician health and well-being. Nominees should have demonstrated commitment to improving the health and well-being of physicians and/​or medical learners. 

Learn more about the awards criteria and nomination requirements here.

Health System Updates

Expression of Interest for ITDI contract for a Physician Assistant

Family Medicine Physicians working in Fee-For-Service clinics are invited to apply for an Interprofessional Team Demonstration Initiative (ITDI) contract with WRHA and Manitoba Health. This contract will provide a Physician Assistant to the clinic with the goal of enhancing access to Primary Care. Application deadline is December 4th, 2022 at 5:00PM. Please see application package and FAQ documents linked below.

For additional information or any questions, please contact April Crowter acrowter@​wrha.​mb.​ca


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

Upcoming Events

Upcoming events are always listed on our events calendar.

Featured Events

CFMS & Doctors Manitoba — Insurance Literacy - November 226pm

Understanding insurance has been voted one of the top three financial literacy topics among medical students. Join us for this informative session. Topics will include: 

  • Medical Student Financial Risk Management 
  • What is Life, Disability, and Critical Illness Insurance?
  • Find out what happens to your student insurance in residency 
  • Your provincial medical association special student offers

Please email Mark Venton, Insurance Coordinator at MVenton@​DoctorsManitoba.​ca if you have any questions. Join the meeting.

Building the Foundations of Anti-Oppressive Healthcare—November 22 from 8:00am to 12:00pm CST

Learn the language and frameworks of anti-oppression and social justice. Explore how the Canadian healthcare system continues to participate in discrimination and oppression, and how health care professionals can engage in praxis – theory-informed action in the pursuit of social justice. Participants will be asked to critically reflect on their own assumptions and behaviours; to interrogate organizational practices and policies; and to identify ways to use their social power to disrupt, reshape, and reimagine our workplaces and institutions. Jointly offered by CFD and Office of Inclusion and Diversity.

Other Events