In today’s message you will find

Your Feedback on Physician Shortage Recommendations 

Last week, we held a Rural and Northern Health Summit in Portage focused on the physician shortage. Dozens of ideas to recruit and retain physicians were identified by the 100+ participants, including physicians, medical learners, health system executives, and business and community leaders. These ideas were refined, prioritized, and distilled into five recommendations. 

We invite you to share your feedback on these draft recommendations, to help us finalize them before they are shared with the provincial government for its consideration. 

Share your feedback here. 

Co-hosted with the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce, this really was a first-of-its-kind event for Doctors Manitoba and the medical profession. There were senior leaders present from every RHA, Shared Health, the University and CPSM, plus dozens of community 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. 

Your Feedback on How We Represent You

We need your feedback on some preliminary recommendations to modernize Doctors Manitoba governance. The goal is to ensure our Board is representative of the membership and makes the best possible decisions on behalf of members.

Complete the survey below by October 10 and you can enter to win a $500 Visa Gift Card. 

Recognizing a lot has changed in the profession over the last two decades, the Board of Directors created a Special Committee on Board Modernization to consider whether or not changes are needed once again to improve our governance structure and how we engage members in decision-making. You can see the full terms of reference for the Special Committee here. The Special Committee, chaired by former Doctors Manitoba President Dr. Aaron Chiu, has spent considerable time studying governance and decision-making models in different medical and membership organizations, gathered feedback from former board members, and sought broader input from our membership.

This work has led to six recommendations focused on issues such as whether or not the Board should continue to be elected by members, if we should reduce the number of rural and Winnipeg districts, and how we ensure the Board is inclusive and reflects the professional and personal diversity of our membership. 

You now have the opportunity to have your say about whether these recommendations are on the right track. Your feedback will be used to finalize recommendations. Ultimately, any changes will require membership approval at an Annual General Meeting.

Share your views anonymously using this survey. If you compete the survey before October 10, you can enter to win a $500 gift card. 

While governance structures may not seem like the most pressing issue facing our profession right now, it is important. As President Dr. Candace Bradshaw explained a few weeks ago, Doctors Manitoba is your medical association. We need to ensure Doctors Manitoba decisions and priorities are responsive to physicians’ and medical learners’ needs and concerns.” Doctors Manitoba makes important decisions on behalf of the profession, and the way those decisions get made is important too. 

COVID Updates

On Demand Webinar

On Tuesday we hosted an exclusive webinar with Dr. Brent Roussin to discuss the potential for a twindemic’ with COVID and flu, as well as other public health priorities. Find out the current status in Manitoba, what might be coming this fall, and what keeps Dr. Roussin up at night these days. You can watch the session on demand here.

Surveillance Update

Public Health posts weekly COVID-19 Surveillance Reports on Thursdays. This week’s report covers the week ending September 24 and shows​a decrease in activity. Highlights include:

  • Severe outcomes from COVID-19 decreased compared to the previous week. There were 73 hospital admissions, down from 87 last week. This includes 11 ICU admissions, the same as last week. Weekly hospital admissions last peaked at 264 in the week ending April 16.
  • There were 3 deaths recorded, up from 2 last week. There have now been 2,160 deaths related to COVID-19.
  • There were 283 lab-confirmed cases reported in Manitoba over the last week, down from 377 last week.
  • The test positivity rate was 22.2%, up slightly from 22% last week.

The updated wastewater surveillance dashboard for Winnipeg continues to fluctuate at lower levels. The spike in Brandon’s wastewater monitoring last week has been followed this week by a significant decrease, with levels returning to numbers similar to early July when surveillance began. 

COVID Travel Restrictions

This Saturday Canada will drop all COVID related travel restrictions. All travellers, regardless of citizenship, will no longer have to:

  • Submit public health information through the ArriveCAN app or website;
  • Provide proof of vaccination;
  • Undergo pre- or on-arrival testing;
  • Carry out COVID-19-related quarantine or isolation;
  • Monitor and report if they develop signs or symptoms of COVID-19 upon arriving to Canada;
  • Undergo health checks for travel on air and rail;
  • Or wear masks on planes and trains.

These measures also apply to cruise ships. A set of guidelines will remain to protect passengers and crew, which will align with the approach used in the United States.

Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said Monday’s decision is not a sign Canada is out of the pandemic, but said the government’s data showed the importation of new variants was no longer having an effect on the evolution of the virus in country.

While masks will soon no longer be mandatory, Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada’s deputy chief health officer, said he still recommends that people wear masks on planes and trains.

We are not aware of any other changes to international travel. Proof of vaccination when travelling by air to the US is still required, but masks are not mandatory for air travel within the US.

Truth and Reconciliation

NRHA Commitment to Anti-Racism

On Monday the CEO of the Northern Regional Health Authority, Helga Bryant apologized for historic and continuing racism against Indigenous people seeking medical care” and promising change following the signing of a declaration on behalf of the Northern Health Region that vowed to eradicate all forms of Indigenous-specific racism within northern Manitoba’s health-care system. The commitment is the result of a new partnership between the health authority, Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak and Keewatinohk Inniniw Minoayawin that was celebrated at a news conference at the Ma-Mow-We-Tak Friendship Centre. Other chiefs and provincial Health Minister Audrey Gordon signed the declaration as well. 

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

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.

Shared Health has curated some great resources and has a list of events.

Fantastic Physicians

Congratulations to Dr. Mandy Buss who became President of the Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada. Dr. Buss is a Manitoba Métis physician from a small rural community northeast of Winnipeg. Dr. Buss did both a Bachelor of Science and a Medical degree at the University of Manitoba and Residency in the Northern Remote Family Medicine program. Dr. Buss spent the first 6 years of practice going half time to northern First Nation communities and currently practices at the Northern Connections Medical Center (NCMC).

Congratulations to internationally renowned surgeon and Past President of the CMA Dr. Gigi Osler who was appointed by the Prime Minister to the Red Chamber as an independent senator on Monday. Dr. Osler is a dedicated advocate for equity, diversity, and inclusion. Dr. Osler holds a medical degree from the University of Manitoba, where she also completed her residency training, and a Graduate Certificate in Global Surgical Care from the University of British Columbia. She also completed a Rhinology fellowship at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver. 

Congratulations to Dr. Ed Buchel, Dr. Joss Reimer, Dr. Peter Macdonald, and Dr. Jazz Atwal who were all awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee medal at a ceremony on Monday night. The Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal (Manitoba) celebrates the 70th anniversary year of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the Throne, which began on February 62022.

Health System Updates

Health in the News

Here’s a new feature where we spotlight recent news stories that are relevant to our members. 

DRMB in the News

Other Health System News


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

26th Annual Bug Day — October 18 — 7:30am-4pm

If you are interested in the prevention and control of communicable diseases, as well as health issues in the community or healthcare setting, then Bug Day is for you! Nationally and internationally recognized experts will present timely, significant topics in infectious diseases and public health. Bug Day is Manitoba’s largest healthcare education event. It’s FREE and accredited, and is hosted by HSC Winnipeg in collaboration with the University of Manitoba’s Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Medicine Program, and held every year during National Infection Prevention & Control Week.

Bug Day will be streamed online through YouTube. There is no charge, but you must be registered to attend on October 18.

2022 Bug Day Schedule (PDF)

2022 Bug Day Abstracts

Register here!

Other Events