In today’s message you will find:

Rural Summit Tackles Physician Shortages

On Wednesday, we held a major Summit focused on addressing the physician shortages in rural and Northern Manitoba.

Co-hosted with the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce, this really was a first-of-its-kind event for Doctors Manitoba and the medical profession. The Summit brought together over 100 participants, including physicians and medical learners, health system leaders from the RHAs, Shared Health, University and CPSM, community leaders including mayors and councillors, and business leaders. The unique approach is part of our efforts to effectively represent physicians’ concerns and interests, by being a constructive partner helping to co-create a better health system for physicians and their patients. 

The round table discussions focused on physician recruitment and retention, with dozens of ideas to attract more doctors, better support them keep them practicing and enjoying their work longer. There was strong agreement in the room, even with the diversity of participants who often find themselves on opposite sides of the table. Many of the promising practices would also help address physician shortages in Winnipeg too. 

Soon, you will have a chance to have your say as well. The themes that emerged during the Summit are being written up and will be shared with all physicians and medical learners for further feedback. Watch our weekly newsletter for this important opportunity. 

You can read more about the Summit here:

Are we heading for a Twindemic? Find out in our exclusive town hall with Dr. Roussin 

Some reports are suggesting the northern hemisphere could be heading for a simultaneous surge in COVID and the first major flu season in three years. Could this be a twindemic” winter? 

Join us next Tuesday, September 27, at 6:30pm for a webinar with Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s Chief Provincial Public Health Officer. He will provide an update about COVID-19 and influenza this fall and winter. This will include 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. 

We are aware this event is being held during Rosh Hashanah, which was unavoidable due to scheduling. A recording of the webinar will be made available for viewing with in a few days of the webinar.

Register here. You will be able to submit questions when your register, or ask them live during the webinar. 

Read more about the Twindemic” here:

COVID Updates

Bivalent Vaccine Eligibility Expanded

On Wednesday Manitoba Health expanded eligibility for the bivalent COVID-19 vaccine to include anyone 18 years of age and older. It is recommended that people wait six months from their last dose to get their bivalent booster vaccine, as this provides the best immune response. However, the minimum interval between a person’s last dose and their booster is three months. Manitobans can now book appointments using the online booking tool, by contacting the vaccine call centre at (toll-free) 18446268222 (1 – 844-MAN-VACC) or by contacting medical clinics and pharmacies directly. We continue to maintain a list of clinics at Man​i​to​baVac​cine​.ca. Vaccine appointments are also now available at the recently opened vaccine clinic at 1680 Notre Dame Ave. in Winnipeg. As of Sept. 19, 3,216 doses of bivalent vaccine have been administered in Manitoba and entered in the provincial immunization database.

COVID Surveillance Update

Public Health posts weekly COVID-19 Surveillance Reports on Thursdays. We did not provide a COVID surveillance report for members last week. This week’s report covers the week ending September 17 and shows​a slight increase in activity. Highlights include:

  • Severe outcomes from COVID-19 increased compared to the previous week. There were 87 hospital admissions, up from 70 two weeks ago. This includes 11 ICU admissions, down from 16 two weeks ago. Weekly hospital admissions last peaked at 264 in the week ending April 16.
  • There were 2 deaths recorded. There have now been 2,143 deaths related to COVID-19.
  • There were 377 lab-confirmed cases reported in Manitoba over the last week, down from 475 two weeks ago.
  • The test positivity rate was 22%, down slightly from 22.2% two weeks ago.

The updated wastewater surveillance dashboard for Winnipeg continues to fluctuate at lower levels with all three regions on a slight decline. Brandon’s dashboard continues to show a significant increase, with levels at their highest since surveillance began in early July. 

NEW Dental Insurance Plan for Physicians

You asked, we delivered. Based on member requests, Doctors Manitoba is launching a new dental insurance plan, covering both preventative and restorative services for members and their families. 

Our insurance options are designed for physicians, and like our extended health plan we have partnered with Manitoba Blue Cross to provide this important lifestyle benefit.

Basic and Major Dental benefits are subject to a combined maximum of $1,500 per person per calendar year.

Coverage includes:

  • 80% Basic Dental (Includes periodontics and endodontics) with regular diagnostic exams twice in each calendar year.
  • 50% Major Dental 
  • 50% Orthodontics (subject to a lifetime maximum for eligible dependent children) 

We are opening online enrollment today, with coverage starting January 12023

Learn more about our new dental plan here.

We’re happy to answer your questions at insurance@​doctorsmanitoba.​ca.

Update on Privileges Attestation Form Concerns

Further to last week’s update on the AVIA form, our staff have raised the concern with Shared Health about the question regarding any changes in your physical or mental health.

Shared Health clarified that this question, in their view, is required to ensure physicians with privileges continue to be fit to practice. No personal health information is required on the form, and no personal health information is maintained in any of their files. The question is limited to any changes in your physical or mental health over the last year that impacts your performance or the safe and competent exercise of clinical privileges that you have been granted.”

If a member checks yes to this, Shared Health suggest you provide a statement confirming that the physician has notified their Chief Medical Officer of the change and that CPSM is aware of the change and that there are no restrictions on the physician’s practice, with no personal health details.

We recognize this will not be a satisfactory response for many members concerned about this issue, and we agree the question is unnecessarily intrusive and a duplication of physicians’ duties to report health concerns to CPSM. Shared Health appears open to reviewing this question for next year’s renewal.

If you are concerned about completing this form, please contact us at aswan@​doctorsmanitoba.​ca or by calling 2049855888. We are here to help.

Inclusive Leadership Workshop

Leadership has a measurable impact on the wellness and satisfaction of teams. So, too, does a physicians’ experience 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 that benefit everyone. 

In this interactive, 90 minute workshop, participants will begin to learn, understand, and converse on leadership through an inclusive lens. In a crisis (and far too often healthcare and medicine is required to navigate crises), leadership is often driven by a sense of urgency. Leaders find themselves looking inward with a narrow focus and surrounding themselves with those who share similar values and ideas. This session will explore how to maintain inclusive leadership and create an environment that fosters inclusion throughout a crisis. The workshop will delve into three components that are rooted in constructive tensions that inclusive leaders can leverage to bring balance, predictability, and moderation to their teams and organization. 

This session, led by Dr. Javeed Sukhera, will be held on November 1 at 6:30PM

Learn More and Register

Truth and Reconciliation Day Sept 30

For a second year, the Manitoba government will recognize Sept. 30 as a day of observance for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The federal statutory holiday is intended to give the public a chance to recognize and commemorate the intergenerational harm that residential schools have caused, and continue to cause, to Indigenous families and communities, to honour those who have been affected by this injustice and to inform further action in the spirit of reconciliation. Schools will be closed on September 30 and most provincial offices and non-essential public services will be closed.

How does this impact the health care sector?

Shared Health has indicated that maintaining access to health services will continue to be a priority on September 30 this year. Physicians working in hospitals or other RHA-run facilities should expect to see normal weekday hours of operation unless otherwise notified by the health facility or RHA

While not an official provincial statutory holiday, September 30 will be treated as such under collective agreements, alternately funded agreements and for the purposes of the Physician’s Manual for this year. For physicians, this means your remuneration will be treated as it would on an existing provincial statutory holiday, such as Louis Riel Day or Victoria Day. 

What should physician clinics do?

If you own or run a medical clinic, you can decide how to observe this day this year. We encourage physicians to consider the following:

  • Remain open? While schools, government offices and some private employers are deciding to close, medical clinics can make a decision about remaining open or closed on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Because this is not a provincial statutory holiday, there is no requirement to close. We anticipate most clinics will remain open this day, consistent with the rest of the health care system. 
  • Employee right to statutory pay or day off in lieu? Because this is not a provincial statutory holiday, private employers are not required to provide employers statutory pay or a day off in lieu if you remain open. However, the public sector has announced it will treat this day as a statutory holiday, which means public sector employees will either have the day off or receive statutory holiday pay. Physicians who are also employers may wish to consider this when developing their plan for the day. Further, it is important to review any collective agreements or employment contracts, as sometimes these indicate employees will be entitled to any provincial or federal statutory holiday. 
  • Reinforce the purpose of the day with your staff. Many employers are sending their staff a list of educational resources to help honour the purpose of the day. 

We’ve got more information, resources and events that can help you take steps toward reconciliation. You can find it all here.

Showing our Commitment to Reconciliation 

This past spring Doctors Manitoba commissioned an Indigenous logo with the advice and guidance of Indigenous physicians, Knowledge Keepers and artists. Created by Indigenous-led Vincent Design, our Indigenous logo visually reinforces our support for Indigenous physicians, medical learners, patients and communities and our commitment to reconciliation. We will be using our Indigenous logo next week to reinforce our respect and commitment to truth and reconciliation. Learn more about our Indigenous logo’s meaning and significance here.

Health System Updates

  • Dynacare strike update: lab workers voted to strike last week and within essential services legislation, we received many concerns about the availability of testing. We now understand the union and Dynacare have agreed to try mediation to reach an agreement. Read more here.
  • Cancer Screening and CervixCheck Competency Training: CancerCare is offering training to initiate or refresh learning and competency about breast, colorectal and cervical cancer screening. The training sessions occur on October 18 and 25. Learn more here and register.

Health in the News

Doctors Manitoba was in the news this week, advancing physicians’ concerns:

Other health system news:

News from other Medical Associations


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

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