In today’s member message you will find:

Throne Speech and Plans for Health Care

Earlier this week, the government presented its first Throne Speech, an annual tradition in which the agenda for the upcoming year is unveiled. Our President, Dr. Michael Boroditsky, was invited to attend in the Legislative Building chamber, and was able to meet with Ministers and reporters to share physicians’ reaction and priorities. 

When it comes to health care, the government focused first on showing appreciation to front line workers and reinforcing their commitment to change the culture in health care by resetting the relationship with health care staff on the front lines.” This will start with a health care listening tour” to hear from physicians, nurses, and other providers. The government recognized that choosing to work in health care is an act of love.”

At the heart of our health care plan is a commitment to take better care of the Manitobans who take care of us — those Manitobans who are working on the front lines of our health care system. The wealth of knowledge and experience of our frontline workers will inform our decisions in health care. Our government will foster a culture of open and transparent communication. We will prioritize the expertise of the frontlines and reduce the burnout caused by excess bureaucracy. We will set out clear goals to improve our system, work with the frontlines on those commitments and hold management accountable to improve things for you, the patient… We will make Manitoba a rewarding place to practice medicine, care for patients and pursue cutting-edge research that will help Manitobans stay healthy. We will improve health care at every level by expanding primary care teams, opening more clinics for minor injury and illness and improving long-term care.”

Dr. Boroditsky described to media that physicians are encouraged by these words. Doctors want to be partners in improving health care, so we are encouraged the government is prioritizing frontline expertise from physicians and other providers,” he said. Fixing health care starts with listening to the people working in it, and that can’t start soon enough.” Doctors Manitoba has reached out to the government with advice about including a representative cross section of physicians in their listening tour, including both hospital and community-based physicians in urban, rural and northern regions. 

The government also reaffirmed a commitment to reproductive health care, including access to abortion care, and its plan to move ahead with making prescription birth control free in Manitoba, only the second province to make such a move. Dr. Boroditsky strongly supported the move for no-cost birth control, including in this story from CTV.

Another health care theme was improving access with an equity lens. This included mentioning recent moves expand surgical and diagnostic access, as well as a commitment to tackle some of the worst ER wait times on record” in Winnipeg. 

Today, Health Minister Uzoma Asagwara announced more details about this plan, with interim steps the government is taking to address ER wait times. Following the announcement to reopen ERs during the election, Doctors Manitoba provided feedback that more inpatient capacity and a focus on other services to support safe and timely discharges are among the most important steps towards reducing wait times. Today’s announcement reflects early steps in this area. This includes allied health and home care resources to move to expand discharge capacity from five to seven days a week. The resources will be added at hospitals in Winnipeg, Selkirk and Brandon. You can read more about this announcement here. The government has also committed to open more inpatient beds at Grace, HSC, St. Boniface and Brandon hospitals, though no timelines are yet available. 

You can read or watch the full Speech from the Throne here.

Nominations Due Soon for Doctors Manitoba Annual Awards

We are pleased to announce that nominations are now open for the 2024 Doctors Manitoba Awards! Nominations are due by December 42023.

As we focus on rebuilding the health care system and addressing the physician shortage and high levels of burnout, we want to be sure we are recognizing excellence in the medical profession in Manitoba. 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.

There are five different awards available to recognize physicians including: Humanitarian of the Year Award, Physician of the Year, Resident of the Year, Distinguished Service Award and Medal of Excellence. 

If you are thinking about nominating someone, let us know as we may be able to help. Email Keir Johnson at kjohnson@​doctorsmanitoba.​ca.

Nominate a colleague today.
Learn more about the awards criteria and nomination requirements here.

Physician of the Week

Dr. Jenette Hayward’s commitment to caring for her medically complex pediatric patients has become a beacon of hope for families across the province. She says​“the most rewarding experiences are the journeys I get to take with families.” She truly values the opportunity to build relationships and collaborate with patients and their families from the initial overwhelming moments to celebrating the victories and achievements that once seemed impossible. Dr. Kristina Joyal is always grateful when she and Dr. Hayward share patients. Dr. Joyal says she can always count on Dr. Hayward going above and beyond when managing and coordinating care for very medically complex children. Dr. Joyal is inspired by Dr. Hayward’s commitment to improving access for children across the province and out of province catchment areas that include Nunavut and northwestern Ontario. Read more about Dr. Hayward and other physicians we have featured throughout the year.

Health System Updates

Her Heart Her Way — Women’s Heart Health Prevention Program

Did you know…

That women are 5x more likely to die of heart disease than breast cancer? That 80% of cardiovascular risk is related to modifiable risk factors such as exercise, diet, and stress? 

Her Heart Her Way is a Reh-Fit developed heart health prevention program for those who identify as women, aged 30 and older, who are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease. The program is aimed at supporting candidates who are interested in reducing their cardiac risk through lifestyle interventions. 

WHO: women aged 30+ with FRS >10%, not on anti-hypertensives, and no existing CVD
WHAT: 12-month program
WHEN: 12 – 16 contact hours over the 12 months
HOW: through virtual or in-person coaching &/or group programming

This program will be jointly offered through the Reh-Fit Centre and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, and is free of charge for participants. Physicians are welcome to refer their patients to this prevention program through regular referral channels. Click here for more details on the program and eligibility.

Pulse Check: Changes to colorectal cancer screening

Join Colon Check Medical Lead, Dr. Ross Stimpson, General Surgeon, Dr. Ali Khan, and CancerCare Manitoba Screening Program Manager, Laura Coulter to learn more about how the changes to colorectal cancer screening are impacting primary care. There will be an opportunity to ask your questions.

  • Tuesday, December 52023
  • 12:00 — 1:00pm
  • Registration is required.

Click here to learn more, download a poster for your site, and register.

In Case You Missed It

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Upcoming Events

Whether you’re looking to expand your knowledge, increase your awareness, or build leadership skills, we have many sessions planned!

Indigenous Skin Spectrum Summit — virtually on Saturday, November 25 @ 9 AM CST

This summit touches on highly practical information relevant to students, communities, healthcare practitioners, policy and decision makers and more who are interested in closing gaps in Indigenous health disparities.

Family Medicine AGM – Dec 6 @ 6:30 PM
The Section of Family Practice is holding its annual AGM. This event will include an update on planning for the introduction of Family Medicine Plus, Manitoba’s longitudinal family practice model, updates on the new Physician Services Agreement, and other topics. 

To attend virtually please click here to register.

To attend in person, please contact Cheryl Bezte at cbezte@​doctorsmanitoba.​ca to RSVP for the meeting, which will be held at our office at 20 Desjardins Drive in Winnipeg.

Other Events