In today’s message you will find:

Leaders’ Health Care Town Hall 

Join us for a Leaders’ Town Hall on Health Care on September 27, hosted by Doctors Manitoba. We know health care is top of mind during this provincial election for physicians, and the general public, and it can be difficult to learn more about each party leader’s plans for health care. That’s why we have organized a town hall to hear directly from the leaders of Manitoba’s three main parties about the current state of our health care system as well as their vision and plans to improve it 

You will hear from PC Leader Heather Stefanson, NDP Leader Wab Kinew, and Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont, as well as perspectives from physicians including our President Dr. Michael Boroditsky and Past President Dr. Candace Bradshaw. The event will be moderated by 680 CJOB’s Richard Cloutier. 

Date: Wednesday, September 27

Time: 7 – 8PM

How to watch: Click here to register to watch on Zoom

Questions for leaders can be submitted when you register. We will do our best to incorporate as many questions as possible during the town hall. 

Interested in attending in person? We have very limited space for a live in-person audience. If you are interested in attending in-person, please email jsie@​doctorsmanitoba.​ca.

Doctors Manitoba released a Prescription for Improving Health Care in August. Based on months of research and consultations with physicians, the seven-point plan includes recommendations to address physician burnout, recruit and retain more doctors and other providers, improve access and reduce wait times for patients, and more. You can learn more about our recommendations here.

Manitoba’s health care system is struggling and Manitoba’s doctors are offering a plan to improve it,” said Dr. Michael Boroditsky, President of Doctors Manitoba.​“Between unreasonably long wait times and struggling to recover from the impacts of the pandemic, we need a clear path forward to stabilize and improve health care for all Manitobans. Our plan responds to the concerns physicians hear everyday from our patients, offering practical advice to all political parties in advance of the next provincial election.”

2023 National Day for Truth & Reconciliation

Saturday, September 30 will mark the third National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. We strongly encourage all physicians to review our news feature ahead of September 30 and consider how you can contribute to reconciliation. If you run a medical clinic, consider sharing the message and the resources provided with all staff. It might be impactful to encourage team members to discuss their chosen actions with each other. 

Attend our Virtual KAIROS Blanket Exercise

On September 30 from 9am to 12pm Doctors Manitoba is offering a unique event for members to mark Truth and Reconciliation Day called a virtual Kairos Blanket Exercise. This is open to Manitoba’s Physicians, Residents, and Medical Learners. Registration Now Open!

This event revisits the shared history of Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples of Canada and is an opportunity to mark the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, together. Facilitated by Braving the Healing. Register Now!

You may also want to consider: 

Observing Truth & Reconciliation Day in Your Practice 

The third 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. 

For physician remuneration, Manitoba Health has confirmed that it will recognize the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as a designated holiday with after hours premiums and holiday rates. Because September 30 falls on a Saturday this year, Monday, October 2 will be considered a designated holiday. See this bulletin on the Manitoba Health site for more information. 

We understand the health system will be open on Oct 2 with normal weekday operations for patient services. 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 October 2, like many employers, to mark the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and to encourage our employees learn more about the history of residential schools in Canada and the lasting impact this has on our society. 

Getting Ready for October 1

If you don’t already have October 1 circled on your calendar, pull out your pen! This is when many of the new and increased remuneration negotiated under the new Physician Services Agreement take effect. The new PSA will bring in many new tariffs to support physicians as well as apply market adjustments to existing tariffs and alternate funded agreements. 

We are busy preparing information and resources to support you and help you optimize your practice with the significant new funding coming October 1

  • Watch for next week’s newsletter where we will highlight new billing advice, final rate tables and alternate signed agreements, and other resources. 
  • Join us at a webinar to learn more and ask questions (see details below to register).
  • Contact us for help at any point at practiceadvice@​doctorsmanitoba.​ca.

Billing Webinars

We have planned two webinars to help you make the most of new remuneration and funding tools to support your practice as they become available on October 1. Both sessions are open to all physicians and medical learners, as well as physicians’ staff (e.g. managers and administrative support). 

Webinar for Family Medicine and Primary Care

Webinar for Specialty and Hospital Care

You will be able to submit questions when registering, and ask live during the webinars. Both sessions will also be available for on-demand streaming. 

Reminder: CPSM Consultation on Prescribing 

A reminder to members that the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba has a consultation underway on prescribing requirements, including entertaining a request from pharmacists for more documentation requirements to accompany prescriptions. Feedback is due to CPSM by September 29

We included a summary of the proposed changes and consultations back in August, which you can read here. We encourage physicians to copy us on their submissions to CPSM. If you are uncomfortable sending a submission to CPSM, you can send it to us in confidence and we will incorporate your feedback into our submission to CPSM on behalf of the profession. You can send or copy us at practiceadvice@​doctorsmanitoba.​ca.

Special Retention Payment & Membership Renewal

On Friday, we sent out the first batch of $21,000 Special Retention Payments to eligible physicians who have signed up for direct deposit. This one-time payment is open to all physicians holding a license with CPSM and membership with Doctors Manitoba as of ratification day (August 14). You can still claim an expedited payment by logging in to the Member Portal and adding your banking information for direct deposit. Eligible physicians who have not signed up for direct deposit will be sent a cheque in the mail at the end of September. 

If you believe you should be eligible but have not received a notice by next week, please contact us at membership@​doctorsmanitoba.​ca.

It’s also time to renew your annual Doctors Manitoba membership. Your fees have been frozen at last year’s rate to avoid an increase while our members face escalating costs and inflation from other sources. 

Must-Read Feature on Physician Shortage

This past Saturday’s Winnipeg Free Press included an in-depth feature on the physician shortage in Manitoba. The story traces the shortage back to decisions made by successive governments in the 1980s and 1990s to decrease medical school spaces at the University of Manitoba. Those decisions led to nearly 800 fewer graduates over the last few decades, contributing to the shortages that exist today. 

The story includes profiles and commentary from several in the medical community, including Neepawa-based family physician Dr. Nichelle Desilets, northern physicians Dr. Chukwuma Abara, Doctors Manitoba President Dr. Michael Boroditsky and Past-President Dr. Candace Bradshaw, as well as medical student Kiana Tait. Dr. Peter Nickerson, Dean of Medicine and Health Sciences at University of Manitoba, adds important insights as well.

Reductions in medical training from days gone by have been reversed, and there are now plans to expand medical training to 150 seats by 2025. This followed recommendations from Doctors Manitoba coming out of our Rural Health Summit last year. Doctors Manitoba’s most recent recommendations, included in our Prescription for Health Care released last month, are also discussed. 

We highly recommend the feature, which you can read on the Winnipeg Free Press website here (subscription required). If you do not have a subscription, you can access a copy here via our media service, though no photos or charts are included. 

Respiratory Season Updates

Earlier this week, Manitoba Public Health issued a public bulletin about respiratory virus season, encouraging all eligible Manitobans to get an influenza and COVID-19 immunization, as well as other practices such as handwashing hygiene, cough and sneeze hygiene, staying home when sick, and choosing to wear a mask. 

Public health officials recommend all previously immunized people aged six months and older receive an updated COVID-19 vaccine this fall. This vaccine should be given six months since a person’s last dose or infection, whichever is later. Public health also continues to recommend the COVID-19 vaccine for anyone who has not been previously immunized. 

Updated vaccines will be available this fall and have been formulated to provide better protection against XBB.1.5, which is an offshoot of the omicron variant. To date, Health Canada has approved an updated Moderna vaccine for those six months of age and older and is reviewing updated Pfizer and Novavax vaccines, as we described in our newsletter last week. 

Like previous years, the first doses of flu and COVID vaccines shipped to Manitoba will be used to immunize higher-risk populations including First Nations communities, people living in personal care homes or in hospital, as well as health-care workers. Based on vaccine approvals and deliveries, the province expects the general public may begin to access vaccines by early to mid-October.

Public Health has confirmed that they anticipate Moderna’s COVID vaccine will be delivered first, so if you have only ordered Pfizer for your clinic you may want to consider updating your order to ensure you receive some Moderna vaccine. 

Public Health has also clarified that Health Canada has approved a simplified schedule” for vaccination. For those not previously immunized, the recommended schedule is: 

  • 6 months to 4 years: two doses (25 mcg per dose) given at least 4 weeks apart
  • 5 to 11 years: one dose (25 mcg)
  • 12+ years: one dose (50 mcg)

Practically speaking, this means that for anyone age 5+ (previously immunized or not previously immunized with a COVID-19 vaccine), the recommendation for this fall would be the same: one dose of the new formulation (25 or 50 mcg depending on age).

For those 6 months to 4 years, not previously immunized, the recommendation lines up with what has been done for influenza vaccine historically (2 doses, 4 weeks apart). For those previously immunized, it would just be one dose (25 mcg).

Manitoba Health is in the process of getting new tariffs in place for all the updated COVID-19 vaccines.

Questions can be directed directly to the Provincial Immunization Program at vaccines@​gov.​mb.​ca.

Physician of the Week

Dr. Gabrielle Leung says her journey in the medical world has been enlightening and dynamic”. The broad diversity of clinical care in family medicine is what drew her to the specialty and she appreciates the opportunities and challenges it provides every day. Dr. Leung is known for her passion for teaching. Colleague and friend, Dr. Galia Pollack is inspired by Dr. Leung’s dedication to her patients and her approach to teaching residents. Dr. Pollack calls Dr. Leung an excellent physician, [who] works up patients appropriately and systematically with an evidence based approach.” Dr. Leung provides immeasurable value to her group, always working to achieve the best possible outcomes for her patients.

Suggest a colleague as Physician of the Week here.

Read Physician of the Week feature stories.

Student Insurance Update

Doctors Manitoba offers Student Disability Insurance which provides you a monthly income if you are unable to attend school due to an injury or sickness. We are offering a non-medical open enrollment to all medical students till November 30, 2023. To learn more, Book time with our Insurance Coordinator Mark Venton or apply online by completing our Student Disability Application. 

Additional information on the coverage can be found here here.


Here are some of the most popular updates in recent newsletters, in case you missed them:

Upcoming Events

Fall is filling up with events and professional development workshops and courses. Whether you’re looking to expand your knowledge, increase your awareness, or build leadership skills, we have many sessions planned!

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 general@​doctorsmanitoba.​ca.

Strength-based leadership: Explore the benefits of creating a strength-based culture and learn what energizes you and your team — September 21 – 22, 2023 from 9 — 4 PM CT

  • At the end of this Physician Leadership Institute course, you will be able to:
  • Recognize the value of a strengths-based approach to leadership
  • Complete a strength-based assessment to uncover your unique strengths, talents and gifts and those of your team
  • Describe how strengths-based approaches can facilitate improved engagement of health care professionals,
    reduce burnout and lead to better team and patient outcomes
  • Examine strategies to build a strengths-based culture that values the unique gifts that everyone brings to the team and fosters a culture of engagement, diversity and inclusion
  • Create a development plan to build on your strengths, while managing around your blind spots
  • Identify and encourage strengths-based approaches in peers and teams

Cost: $250.00 Register here

Review agenda.

Unraveling the Threads of Colonization and Racism in Manitoba’s Healthcare — September 28 6:30 – 8pm

Session 5 in our Leadership for Equity Series aims to empower physicians with a deeper comprehension of the intricate intersections between historical legacies, healthcare delivery, and the imperative for transformative change in support of health equity for Indigenous populations in Manitoba. It will explore the historical underpinnings of colonization and Indigenous-specific racism within the healthcare system, highlighting their enduring influence on the health of Indigenous communities. The session will emphasize the importance of physicians, as leaders in the healthcare system, learning to recognize the subtle yet impactful manifestations of these issues in healthcare and carrying this into application of practical strategies for fostering anti-racist and decolonizing practices. 

Learning Objectives:

1. Gain insight into the historical background of colonization and racism within Manitoba’s healthcare system and how this continues to impact the health of Indigenous peoples.
2. Develop the ability to identify and understand how colonization and racism manifest in healthcare practices.
3. Acquire strategies to promote anti-racist and decolonizing approaches as leaders in healthcare settings.

Register now!

Save the date for upcoming sessions in the series:

  • October 24 – Kimani Paul-Emile, PhD
  • November 30 – Dr. Nanky Rai, MD

Bug Day — Mark your calendars for the 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.

Other Events