In this week’s newsletter, you will find information on:
Voting Open for Tentative Agreement
Voting is now open for the proposed Physician Services Agreement. All members should have received their individual electronic ballot and voting instructions for our secure and confidential online voting option.
We strongly encourage all members to take a minute to vote, for two reasons. First, your vote helps to ensure the Agreement has physician support and is responsive to your needs. Second, a strong turnout will help us to advocate for the support and resources physicians need to thrive in medicine.
Electronic voting has made it easier than ever to vote, taking a minute or less. If you receive our emails, like this newsletter, you likely received a ballot around 10AM on Tuesday August 1. If you can’t find it in your inbox, it could be in your promotions or spam folder. If you cannot find your ballot, please contact us at email@example.com or at 204−985−5888 to obtain your ballot credentials.
More Updates on Tentative Agreement
The Doctors Manitoba Board of Directors has strongly recommended the tentative Agreement to members for approval for two main reasons. First, The total investment, at $268 million, is more than double any previous Agreement. Second, the negotiations team has been able to negotiate progress on at least some of the priorities for every bloc or group.
As our CEO Theresa Oswald puts it: “No bloc or group got everything they wanted, but all physicians will benefit from this new Agreement in significant ways. We encourage you to take the time to learn about what’s in this Agreement for you, and then to vote!”
You can learn more about the Agreement and what’s in it for you by visiting DoctorsManitoba.ca/PSA. You will find a high-level overview here, as well as a link to our Ratification Information Centre (log in required), where you will find specific info for your bloc or group, including a detailed overview, rate tables and/or alternate funded agreements. Of course, you can contact us with questions by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
We continue to get positive feedback and good questions about the agreement. Here’s a summary, in addition to what we shared last week.
- “This agreement has exceeded my expectations!”
- “This is unprecedented for Manitoba physicians.”
- “This is the most successful and positive agreement I have seen in my career.”
- “New agreement is making me think about getting back into practice.”
- “I appreciate your advocacy, hard work, and time spent on this agreement.”
As for questions, here’s a few common questions we’ve receive that might apply to you.
Will physicians be more appropriately compensated for communications and collaboration with other doctors?
Yes! There are two significant advancements that will recognize, support, and compensate physicians for collaborative communications to support patient care. First, provider-to-provider communications, under tariff 8001 will be enhanced. If you have real-time phone or video conversations with another physician, you will both be able to claim. The referring physician would be eligible to claim $25, and the consulting physician would receive $50. Further, eConsultation will now be rolled out as a formal tariff, with referring physicians receiving $27.33 for initiating an eConsultation, and designated e‑consulting physicians receiving $60 per 15-minute segments for responding. More information is posted in the Ratification Information Centre.
For specialists, what is this new tariff for continuing care?
A new fee will be introduced for medical specialists that follow patients and offer continuing patient care management. The $30 supplemental fee would be added to a visit for patients with one of 30 designated diseases, and it can be claimed up to four times per year. This new fee is intended to keep Manitoba competitive with other provinces in recognizing the ongoing, long-term care specialists provide beyond the consultative interaction. This fee will be available April 1, 2024. More information is posted in the Ratification Information Centre for applicable specialists.
For family physicians, how will the new panel payments work?
As part of Family Medicine Plus, our new longitudinal family practice model, panel payments will be available starting April 1, 2024. These will replace the current CCM tariffs, and will now apply to all patients who have been enrolled on your panel and has had a visit with you or another provider in your practice within the last 24 months. Annual panel rates range from $15 to $445 per patient depending on age and disease diagnoses. Additional diagnoses have been added from the current CCM options, and in year 4 of the agreement, a new social complexity premium will be added. Also, payments will be made quarterly rather than annually.
I have to be honest, it doesn’t look like there’s much in this Agreement for me. What have I missed?
Our team has worked hard to advance priorities and address concerns for every group.
All members will benefit from the following over four years:
- All tariffs will be at or above the Ontario-Prairie Average in the first year.
- 6.1% increase on all tariffs or Agreements, plus permanent virtual visit tariffs.
- $21,000 Special Retention Bonus for all Doctors Manitoba members who hold a full license with CPSM.
- Protection against any cuts on tariffs or rates and any caps on earnings or total physician expenditures
- Benefit programs are protected against cuts and increased.
- Commitment to consult physicians before changes that impact your practice, and to continue efforts to reduce administrative burdens.
- New accountability to avoid excessive delays in processing claims.
We can say, with confidence, this basic increase for all physicians is stronger than other public sector workers in Manitoba and in-line with trends for physicians in other provinces.
Members will also be receiving competitive market adjustments in the first year, and/or benefit from new or enhanced tariffs or alternate funded agreements. These increases were identified through our advocacy, particularly for groups that were not competitive from our jurisdictional comparisons, and for those working in services experiencing shortages or access issues as identified by the health system.
We acknowledge that while this Agreement is significant, it did not deliver everything everyone wished for. This Agreement is not the end. Our advocacy continues. We want to hear your concerns about what was missed to help inform our next steps. Please continue to contact us at email@example.com.
Provincial Election and Healthcare
While the official provincial election period has not yet started, it’s starting to feel like election season! We’ve seen a flurry of government announcements and we’ve also started to see political parties making promises about health care. We are closely monitoring these developments on behalf of physicians, tracking election promises. You will find a summary of the latest political commitments below.
We are also preparing to share what physicians would recommend for improving health care in Manitoba, with the hopes of seeing all political parties adopt your expert advice. We received a strong response to our call for ideas back in June, and we’ve been undertaking further research to develop these into policy recommendations. You will see a list of these ideas below, and we would welcome your ongoing feedback on these.
Ideas for Improving Health Care.
- Expanding Team-Based Care: To meet the needs of a growing and aging population, Manitoba must aggressively expand team-based care, connecting more health care providers to physician practices. This would mean more physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, pharmacists, and other allied health providers working in physician practices as part of a collaborative team. This will help connect more Manitobans with care, while addressing demanding workloads for existing physician practices. More team-based care would help in all settings, including primary care, community-based specialty practices, and in hospital.
- Recruit and retain more doctors, nurses and other providers: Set a clear target for a net increase in providers. A further expansion to local training and supporting international-medical graduates will help. Improve retention by addressing the causes of burnout and increasing satisfaction with work. Create new incentives for recruitment, as well as for succession planning to help late-career physicians transition their practice to new recruits.
- Build up hospital capacity: We should plan our hospital capacity like we plan for floods, and that means being ready for surges. Our hospitals need to be better equipped not only for a once-in-a-generation pandemic, but also for annual surges during respiratory seasons. Hospitals need to be designed for an appropriate average occupancy target to avoid long waits and backlogs in ERs, surgery cancelations, and out-of-province care, and to keep up with Manitoba’s brisk population growth.
- Expand access to mental health and substance use care: This is an area for which we are still developing policy ideas, and welcome your feedback.
- Reduce wait times and improve access to care, especially for equity-deserving groups. Whether it’s wait times in ERs, for surgery and testing, or finding a family physician, improvements are needed. It’s important to focus these improvements on those with the worst access to care, which often includes the following: Indigenous, racialized, low-income, newcomer, rural/Northern, and 2SLGBTQ+ groups.
- Focus on disease prevention: Expand and promote access to screening and immunizations, find creative ways to motivate Manitobans to take steps towards getting healthy and preventing diseases and complications, and aggressively focus on tackling the determinants of good health, starting with the health of children.
- Promote innovation: Innovation happens best when it is supported from the top but allowed to flourish at the front line. Manitoba needs to rapidly move towards a single, integrated electronic record for health care. In addition, we recommend creating a $10 million fund to carefully develop and leverage the potential of artificial intelligence in medicine, in partnership with physicians. We also recommend expanding reliable internet access to more rural and Northern communities to support virtual visits.
What do you think?
What would do you like from the ideas above? What’s missing? Please email your feedback in confidence to Keir Johnson, Director of Strategy & Communications, at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be refining these ideas over the next week.
This work is part of our ongoing advocacy for the profession, recognizing a provincial election is a once-every-four-year opportunity for physicians’ ideas to be heard. Our Board of Directors has directed that Doctors Manitoba remain a strictly non-partisan, neutral organization, including in the upcoming provincial election. You will not see Doctors Manitoba supporting or favouring any candidate or party. However, the Board has directed the Association to ensure that physicians’ concerns and priorities are part of the dialogue during the upcoming campaign, with the hopes that all provincial parties will embrace physicians’ ideas to improve health care for their patients. The election is scheduled for October 3, 2023.
What’s been promised so far?
The governing Progressive Conservatives have made several announcements over the last few weeks, as the blackout on government communications begins today. Their promises as government have included:
- A $1.5 billion capital project to rebuild HSC’s Adult Bed Towers,
- Expanding the Bannatyne medical school campus to accommodate more training for physicians and other health care providers, and
- Adding a CT scanner in Swan River and a new specialized MRI at CancerCare.
The NDP have promised to expand the Bannatyne campus too, to make room to train more “nurses, doctors, nurse practitioners and physicians’ assistants and will include new technology for virtual classrooms to make programs more accessible for rural students.” An earlier pledge focused on rural health care including doubling the rural physician recruitment fund and more staff to keep rural ERs open. Earlier this year, the NDP committed to free birth control for all if elected.
The Liberals unveiled their plan for health care last week, including a shift to prevention by adopting a “health care home” and family doctor for every Manitoban, expanding training for doctors with a new lecture hall and a Brandon campus, and recognizing foreign credentials.
Golf Tournament in One Month!
Golfers of all skill levels are invited to join us at our first (annual?) Doctors Manitoba Golf Tournament! We have some new sponsors to announce soon, with some exciting prizes and activities during the tournament.
This event is an idea that came to us from members looking for more opportunities to connect with colleagues outside of work.
Don’t wait to register, as space is limited. If you’re putting together a foursome but don’t yet have all the names, you can buy tickets now and add names and details later.
- When: Tuesday September 5
- Where: Southwood Golf and Country Club in St. Norbert.
- Cost: $190 each, includes a full 18 holes, power cart, lunch and dinner, and more
- Register now!
New to golf? You’re not alone and you’re welcome! The tournament format is friendly for less experienced golf players, with a shotgun start and a best-ball scramble format.
Experienced golfer? You’ll fit in. Southwood is a premier championship course with challenging holes.
Proceeds from the golf tournament will support the our Getting Healthy public awareness campaigns and resources about healthy living and disease prevention, a physician-led initiative.
If your practice is interested in sponsoring or hosting a hole, please email email@example.com to discuss options and pricing for participation in the event.
Physician of the Week
Raised in Gimli, Manitoba and a proud member of the Pimicikamak First Nation in Cross Lake, MB, Dr. Shelley Turner is a trailblazer in the medical cannabis community, specializing in cannabinoid therapies for addiction, sleep and mood disorders, and chronic pain. Providing empathic, patient-centered health care is in her blood. A strong advocate for safe supply & harm reduction programs, Dr. Turner has been providing empathic, patient-centered care to marginalized patients since 2008.
Dr. Turner says that “the ability to connect with people when they are at their most vulnerable and develop a bridge of trust and mutual respect is the most rewarding part of medicine.” She is proud when she can “turn the patient voice into a number to be measured over time.” Colleague and friend Dr. Michele Matter says Dr. Turner is a passionate advocate for safe supply and harm reduction programs, adding “she is a wonderful physician and human, who truly believes in the concept of all-inclusive, wrap-around care for patients with substance use and other disorders.”
Improve your Primary Care Practice
The Department of Family Medicine, in partnership with Shared Health, has created the Access Improvement Model (AIM) program. This program is free of charge, is designed for primary care physicians and their teams, and focuses on improving patient access by understanding the concepts of access, quality improvement, change management, and team-building. Teams will progress through eight interactive one-hour workshops, each coordinated to fit the participating clinic’s schedule. Teams will also complete a tailored, mentored project to build the necessary skills and competencies to support ongoing improvement efforts relevant to their clinic, access-related or otherwise. The AIM facilitation team will support participating teams throughout training and beyond to support their continuous improvement efforts.
The AIM team is now recruiting and ready to onboard new clinics! They look forward to learning more about the various clinics across Manitoba and their unique patient access issues.
Here are some of the most popular updates in recent newsletters, in case you missed them
- Fall COVID Booster News
- A new colon cancer screening test and requisition form has been rolled out. See the details here.
- Funds Available for Rural Practice Training — The Society of Rural Physicians of Canada has received funding to reimburse rural physicians, including specialists, who are interested in advanced skills training.
- COVID & Flu Vaccine Updates — There’s a new ordering process beginning this fall, Bivalent is now recommended for primary series, and the Janssen vaccine has been discontinued.
- CPSM Fee Rebate applications are open. Learn more.
Events can always be found on our website in the events calendar. If you have an event you’d like to share with members and have included in our calendar, forward all the information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Federation of Medical Women of Canada Conference
As current President of the Federation of Medical Women of Canada (FMWC), I invite you all to join us at our upcoming AGM & Educational Conference taking place September 23 – 24 in Calgary at the amazing Hotel Arts. Sessions are CFPC and RCPSC accredited and we will be focusing on topics which we think will be very valuable to you such as leadership skills development, advocacy, equity gaps in access, wellness and lots more. There’s also social events and an awards dinner which are great opportunities for networking. While we are always looking to welcome new members to FMWC, you do not need to be a member to attend the educational portion. Student travel awards are being offered and poster session abstracts are now being accepted. Visit www.FMWC2023.com for Registration and all meeting details. To become an FMWC member go to www.FMWC.ca. We hope you will join us for this exciting event!
Dr. Shelley Zieroth
President, Federation of Medical Women of Canada
Bug Day — Mark your calendars for 2023 27th Annual Bug Day! — October 17 7:55am-4pm — Held Virtually.
Interested in the prevention and control of communicable diseases, and health issues in the community or healthcare setting? Bug Day is for you! Nationally and internationally recognized experts will present timely topics in infectious diseases and public health at Manitoba’s largest healthcare education event. Held every year during National Infection Prevention & Control Week, Bug Day is streamed online – it’s FREE, accredited, and you’re invited!
The program is accredited for physicians and can be used for continuing education purposes by other health care workers. There is no charge, but you must register to attend the live sessions. You can make a donation directly to the HSC Foundation Bug Day fund. Click here to visit the donation page. This donation page will automatically generate a confirmation email and a tax receipt. Register here.
Doctors Manitoba Golf Tournament — September 5, 2023
Join us and connect with colleagues at our 2023 Getting Healthy Gold tournament at one of Manitoba’s premier championship courses, offering a fun non-competitive event open to all skill levels. This exciting event is an opportunity to connect with your colleagues. Facilities open at 11am | Lunch service between 11:15am – 12:45pm | Shotgun Start at 1PM | Dinner served following play Register now!
- Black Physicians of Canada Conference — October 12 – 15 — Toronto
- National Pancreas Conference — November 18 & 19 — In-Person (MTL) and virtual