In today’s member message you will find:

Upcoming Days of Observance

There are two days this month that are being recognized, and we are providing information and guidance for physicians to plan ahead.

September 19 — National Day of Mourning

Earlier this week, the federal government declared Monday, September 19, would be a national Day of Mourning to mark the death of Queen Elizabeth II, to coincide with her state funeral. Federal government offices will be closed, and their employees will have the day off. 

Here in Manitoba, the provincial government is taking a similar approach for non-essential provincial government employees, but they have declared that the education and health care sectors will continue to operate as planned” on Monday, meaning scheduled appointments and procedures will proceed. 

Health care employees (including employed physicians) required to work will be paid as if September 19 was a statutory holiday. Independent contractors will receive all after hours premiums and holiday rates as if September 19 was a statutory holiday.

Physicians practicing in private clinics can choose to remain open, and staff in private clinics are neither entitled to the day off nor additional pay. This decision is at the discretion of clinic management. 

Doctors Manitoba will remain open on September 19, and our staff are available to serve you.

September 30 — National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

The second Day for Truth and Reconciliation will be handled like last year in Manitoba, as the legislature has not yet amended the legislation to declare this an official statutory holiday. 

Like last year, provincial government offices, schools and public child care centres will be closed on September 30.

Health care employees (including employed physicians) required to work will be paid as if September 30 was a statutory holiday. Independent contractors will receive all after hours premiums and holiday rates as if September 30 was a statutory holiday.

Physicians practicing in private clinics can choose to remain open, and staff in private clinics are neither entitled to the day off nor additional pay. Physicians practicing in private clinics face the challenge of balancing their patients’ needs with employee expectations and possible criticism for remaining open. Ultimately, this decision is at the discretion of clinic management. 

Doctors Manitoba will close our office on this day, like many employers, to encourage our employees to mark the occasion by learning more about the history of residential schools in Canada and the lasting impact this has on our society. 

Attestation Form for Hospital Physicians

If you have privileges to work in a hospital or RHA facility, you likely received a form from the MB Healthcare Providers Network a few weeks ago called the Annual Verification of Information and Attestation (AVIA) form. 

We understand that the AVIA form will now be an annual requirement under Medical Staff Bylaws (section 5.5.1). While the form itself looks long, part of it is optional.

We have received numerous concerns about a specific portion of the form (Part I Question 3), asking if you have had any changes in your health in the last year that may affect your ability to perform your responsibilities or provide safe and competent care. We are hearing from members who feel this question is too broad, too personal, and redundant with what is already required of you under CPSM’s Standards. Members have also asked how this information may be used. We have raised this concern with Shared Health and we are working towards a resolution.

In the meantime we ask all physicians who have not yet submitted this form, regardless of how you would respond Question 3, to please hold and not submit. We should have further guidance for you next week, leaving ample time to complete and submit the form before the September 30 deadline. 

Other questions in the Part I Attestation section are focused on any disciplinary action, professional sanctions, professional negligence or criminal charges. While these may feel uncomfortable as presented, these questions are identical or very similar to questions you were likely asked when you applied for privileges and in your CPSM renewals, and therefore it is recommended for physicians to complete the form. 

We recommend physicians complete these (questions 1, 2 and 4) as required.

Part II of the form is optional, focused on your practice. We understand this is being collected now to improve planning and recruitment, to address wait times and the backlog, and to improve communication between physicians.

Part III is required, updating your information on file with the medical administration offices. 

We would like to hear what you think. Email us your views about the AVIA form, positive or negative, to practiceadvice@​doctorsmanitoba.​ca.

Rural Summit — Final Call to Attend

This is the last call for physicians interested in joining as at the Rural Health Summit next Wednesday, as registration closes Friday.

The goal of the Summit, which we are co-hosting with the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce, is to discuss the physician shortage in rural and Northern Manitoba and to examine potential solutions to physician recruitment and retention. We hope to build consensus about the actions and strategies needed to attract and retain more doctors in rural and Northern communities. We are expecting a number of physicians and medical learners, along with leaders from the health system, business community, and municipal governments. 

  • DATE: Wednesday, September 21
  • TIME: 10AM to 3PM
  • LOCATION: Portage la Prairie

If you are interested in participating, please contact Maclean at mboyd@​doctorsmanitoba.​ca. Please include your location of practice and full name in your email. Space is limited and we want to ensure we have a strong and regionally representative group of physicians and medical learners in attendance.

If you are not able to participate, a draft report from the Summit will be available for comment after the event before it is finalized and submitted to the government. 

Of course, physician shortages are only part of the cause of the current crisis in rural and Northern health care. Doctors Manitoba continues to monitor and raise concerns about shortages in nurses, technologists and other health care workers, as well as other potential issues like medical transportation, administrative burden, health system support and the still undisclosed plan for rural hospital restructuring. 

AMA Reaches Tentative Deal

We learned a few days ago that the Alberta Medical Association has reached a tentative agreement with the Alberta government. This follows several years of very difficult relations with the Alberta government. The Alberta government unilaterally terminated the previous agreement, cut fees and eliminated benefit programs.

While the agreement has been endorsed by the Board, it is now with the membership for ratification. An earlier agreement last year was voted down by members, resulting in further negotiations and this new agreement. 

In a letter to AMA members released late Friday, AMA President Dr. Vesta Michelle Warren, she describes the agreement has a new beginning” that will provide stability moving forward.” A recent CBC story offers a few details, but we are respecting the ratification process allowing members there to hear the details first hand and vote accordingly. Once that process is complete, we will offer a more complete analysis. 

The Doctors Manitoba team monitors developments like this very closely as we prepare to negotiate the next Master Agreement in the months ahead. In addition to monitoring physician remuneration in other provinces, which is important to ensuring physicians here are remunerated fairly and competitively, we also monitor other public sector negotiations. For example, earlier this month support workers in health care in several health regions here finally got a new contract, which provides an average 1.4% increase per year, much like other recently-settled public sector contracts for nurses and other workers. 

We’re also reviewing other factors, such as addressing the physician shortage, supporting a pandemic recovery, and the various economic pressures that are relevant in medical care. See this recent update from our President, Dr. Candace Bradshaw, about our preparations for negotiating your next Master Agreement. 

Masks in Clinics

With fall approaching, Doctors Manitoba is providing advice about how to approach masks in your clinic. We understand there are no plans to change masking requirements in hospitals or other RHA facilities at this time, including primary care and outpatient settings. This guidance says that primary care and outpatient clinics should continue to require patients and visitors to wear a non-medical or medical mask for the duration of their appointment/​service.” This leaves the requirements in place for staff, patients and visitors to wear an appropriate mask. We understand the existing guidance from CPSM also remains in effect. 

Medical clinics may choose to adopt different practices after assessing the risks and precautions in their office, but you should be aware that many patients continue to have heightened expectations about COVID and respiratory precautions in health and medical facilities at this time. Our guidance for independent clinics, released in March (see here), remains in place. 

Please contact us if you have questions or concerns at covid19@​doctorsmanitoba.​ca.

New to Practice Webinar Reminder

If you missed last night’s New to Practice webinar, you can join the second webinar next week, on Wednesday September 21 at 6:00 PM — Register in advance for this meeting.

Starting your practice is a major milestone for young physicians, and this milestone has only become more complex during COVID-19. We’re here to help you navigate this transition in your journey as a physician. This webinar is intended for physicians in their first five years of practice, residents who are approaching the end of their residency, and physicians who have recently relocated their practice to Manitoba. These annual sessions will cover:

  • What Doctors Manitoba offers you
  • Benefit, rebates and insurance options for physicians
  • Billing: tips and common questions
  • Virtual care now and into the future
  • Practicing during the pandemic
  • Physician health and wellness support
  • Q&A

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. If you have specific questions, you can send them in advance to PracticeAdvice@​doctorsmanitoba.​ca or ask them live during our webinar.

Winnipeg ER Challenges

Winnipeg ERs have been in the news this week after what has been described as an unprecedented” weekend at HSC. Short staffing, a shortage of inpatient beds, and an influx of very complex patients led to concerning delays. Several physicians, including our President Dr. Candace Bradshaw, spoke in the news this week about the issue, urging for action to ensure the system is able to cope as pressures increase in the fall and winter. Doctors Manitoba continues to monitor this very closely as part of a larger trend of system issues we raise with health system and government leaders. 

Read more about the issues here:

Cardiac New Website

Cardiac Sciences Manitoba (CSMB) recently launched their new Cardiac Sciences Manitoba website for healthcare providers, patients, and the general public. The website contains various Cardiology, Cardiac Surgery, and Cardiac Anesthesia tools and resources to support healthcare professionals and their patients. 

We are excited to share this resource with the community,” explained Dr. Colette Seifer, Site Medical Director for Cardiology at St. Boniface Hospital. The website offers health care providers and patients educational materials as well as referral forms and other helpful information. It is an opportunity to improve access to care for cardiac patients across the province.”

The Heart Failure Clinic webpage is the most comprehensive section and includes referral criteria, an interactive pathway referral tool, referral form, clinical resources, patient information, and many other valuable professional resources for community providers. Other key sections of the website are listed below:

Your feedback, input, and content suggestions are welcome. Please send feedback to CSMBWebmaster@​sbgh.​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 Event

COVID and Flu Update with Dr. Brent Roussin — September 27, 2022 — 6:30pm

Join us September 27 for a webinar with Dr. Brent Roussin, for an update about COVID-19 and influenza this fall and winter. Dr. Roussin will provide a briefing for physicians about public health’s monitoring and what to expect, how vaccines and other measures will be used this season to mitigate the risks, and advice for physicians to use in their practice. The event will be hosted by Doctors Manitoba President Dr. Candace Bradshaw. Register.

Other Events