April 22, 2022
- COVID Updates
- How to Submit Feedback on Record-Keeping Regulation
- Leadership Panel
- Health Services for Ukrainian Refugees
- AGM & Gala Reminder
- BIPOC Mental Health Worker List
- Upcoming Events
Public Health now posts weekly COVID-19 Surveillance Reports on Thursdays. This week’s report, which is again showing“increasing activity,” covers the week ending on April 16. Highlights include:
- Severe outcomes from COVID-19 “increased compared to previous weeks.” There were 206 hospital admissions, up from 177 last week and 141 the previous week. This includes 22 ICU admissions, up from 19 last week and 11 the previous week. There were 12 deaths recorded, up from 5 the previous week.
- There were 1,190 lab-confirmed cases reported in Manitoba over the week up from 1,359 the previous week. The test postivity rate was 19.0% , down from 20.7%
Data from Shared Health also shows hospital occupancy is increasing for patients with COVID-19. There were 538 in hospital with COVID-19 as of April 19, up from 448 the week before. This includes 26 patients in ICU.
Updated wastewater monitoring trends were also released, with data ending April 14. The monitoring continues to show increased COVID-19 activity but it does not appear to be approaching the heights of the Omicron wave in early January.
Doctors Manitoba has seen a jump in the number of physicians isolating due to COVID-19. For the week ending April 19, there were 55 physicians who submitting an isolation notice. This is up from 19 claims the week before. If you miss work due to COVID-19, please review our Physician Isolation Support Benefit and apply if you are eligible.
As Manitoba is in a 6th wave, it is important to reinforce with patients the need for continued precautions. You can refer patients to our resource, NewCOVIDNormal.ca.
New Seroprevalence Data
New data from Canada Blood Services, released by the Canadian Immunity Task Force, found a major increase in COVID infections in February based. Across Canada, 23.7% of blood donors had seroprevalence due to infection, nearly double from January’s 12.1%. It was 6.4% in December.
In Manitoba, the infection-acquired seroprevalence was even higher, at 28%. This is the second highest in Canada, behind only Alberta, and up from 16% in January and 8% in December.
Reminder about COVID Testing Changes
A reminder that the province has closed its COVID-19 PCR testing sites. While most COVID testing is now happening at home using self-administered rapid tests, there are a small number of patients who will require a either a rapid or PCR test in a doctor’s office.
We have created a COVID-19 Testing and Treatment resource page to help primary care physicians with this change. It has been updated with tariff codes for rapid and PCR tests administered in a physicians’ office, along with billing advice. The page also includes:
- Clinical guidance and a clinical algorithm to ensure you and your staff are ready for patients who call in with COVID-19 or influenza-like symptoms, and may need a test
- Instructions on ordering free rapid tests or PCR testing supplies
- Patient information resources
- Patient notification responsibilities
- COVID-19 treatment information, referral forms and resources
Webinar: Watch our webinar now about testing and treating COVID-19 in primary care. The recording can be viewed here.
We have heard some concerns about the transition of testing to primary care, particularly from rural physicians. We are pursuing answers on behalf of members on these issues. If you are experiencing any issues access testing supplies or have any other general concerns please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two Testing Sites Remain Open in Winnipeg
The two medical clinics offering public COVID-19 PCR testing remain open. These include:
- Dakota Medical Centre at 17 – 845 Dakota Street. It is open Monday-Friday from 6PM to 10PM, Saturday, 2PM to 6PM and Sunday 1PM to 5PM. Appointments can be booked online or by calling 204−254−2087
- Minor Illness and Injury Clinic Drive-Thru at Red River College (2055 Notre Dame Ave). It is open Monday to Friday 5PM to 9PM and on Saturdays and Sundays from 1PM to 5PM. Appointments must be booked online.
How to Submit Feedback on Record-Keeping Regulation
Two weeks ago, we shared our analysis of a proposed government regulation on record-keeping that we fear has the potential to increase the
administrative burden on physicians with no value to your practice or your patients. You can see our overview and analysis here.
Based on concerns we continue to receive from physicians, we would like to encourage physicians to send a response to the government’s consultation on the proposed regulations. Below you will find instructions on how to submit a response, and a sample submission that you can copy, paste and adapt before submitting. Rest assured, Doctors Manitoba is also preparing a robust submission on behalf of the profession.
Draft Commentary on the Proposed Regulation
Please fill in the blanks and edit and adapt this sample submission to make it your own:
To Whom it May Concern:
I am a physician practicing in the community of ________________. I practice in the area of ___________________ and have provided medical care in Manitoba for ______ years.
I have serious concerns respecting the proposed Regulation on Record Keeping. The regulation will negatively impact patient care by adding new administrative requirements into my practice.
The consultation documents claim there there will be “no additional administrative burden” on physicians, but this is simply not true. The Regulation will increase the administrative record-keeping burden in my practice without increasing or improving patient care. Instead, the increased administrative burden will reduce the number of patients I am able to see each day.
Physicians already follow very detailed and rigorous documentation requirements, both from our regulator CPSM, and under the Physician Manual from Manitoba Health. These requirements already provide the documentation necessary for patient care and to justify the claims I submit to Manitoba Health. As a physician, I take very seriously my obligations to maintain accurate patient records and to submit valid claims for remuneration.
To be honest, it seems like the sole reason for these new regulations is to make the job easier for medical claims auditors when reviewing physician billings. From what I understand, the Auditor General reviewed physician billings recently and found that Manitoba Health has all of the necessary legal authority to review patient billings, and suggested improving the training for the auditors who often lack a background in health care or medicine. Rather than adding new regulations and red tape, I would suggest the government instead pursue better training for the auditors so they are able to understand the detailed and comprehensive documentation that already exists.
This proposed Regulation does not advance patient care and has the very real risk of resulting in less patient care being available. This comes at a time that physicians are trying to catch up on care that has been disrupted or put on hold during the pandemic.
With this in mind, I respectfully request that Manitoba Health withdraw this regulation.
Leadership Through Connection
Please join us for a panel discussion on Leadership Through Connection. This interactive webinar is an opportunity for all Doctors Manitoba members to hear perspectives on leadership from your peers. Panelists include our President Dr. Kristjan Thompson, Dr. Calvin Howard from PARIM and Allison Balasko from MMSA will and be co-facilitated by Navjit Singh, MMSA and Dr. Ming-Ka Chan, Office of Leadership Education, Rady Faculty of Health. May 2nd 6:30 – 8:00 — Register now!
Help Providing Medical Care to Ukrainians
We continue to hear from physicians who are concerned about the ongoing invasion of Ukraine, asking how they can help.
One way to help is right here in Manitoba, as hundreds or even thousands of Ukrainians could arrive in our province. As we prepare to welcome people displaced by the war in Ukraine, Doctors Manitoba is working with partners at Shared Health and Manitoba’s health service delivery organizations to compile a list of providers and clinics interested and able to provide health services for this population. It is anticipated there will be a need in both urban and rural communities.
While there is no immediate request for services at this point, we are compiling a list of physicians who can help to be ready.
→ If you may be able to help should the need arise, please submit your name using this online form.
“I am encouraging my physician colleagues to submit their name to help, even if you only have capacity to help one Ukrainian arriving in Manitoba,” said Dr. Kristjan Thompson, President of Doctors Manitoba. “Over five million people have fled Ukraine during the war, one of the largest refugee crises in recent times. For those arriving in Manitoba, they will need help, support, and medical care.”
Shared Health has created a resource page about health services for Ukrainians arriving in Manitoba. You will find information about interpreter support, as well as fact sheets about basic health service available in English, Ukrainian, Russian and French.
The provincial government has also created a general information page for Manitobans with information about how to help, immigration resources and information for new arrivals.
AGM & Gala Reminder
Earlier this week, you should have received an invitation from our President, Dr. Kristjan Thompson, to attend our Annual Awards Gala and our Annual General Meeting, both happening on Thursday May 19, 2022.
The Gala is the signature annual event for physicians, offering a great opportunity to reconnect with colleagues, meet new ones, and celebrate the very best of the medical profession, including our eight extraordinary 2022 physician award winners.
You can now purchase tickets for the Gala, including individual tickets or a table. You also have the option to sponsor a medical learner, giving
medical students and residents the opportunity to attend as well.
MD Financial and Scotiabank are our presenting sponsors, and you can enter to win a fabulous door prize from them when you purchase your tickets.
The Gala will be held at the RBC Convention Centre and starts at 6PM with a cocktail reception, followed by a gourmet dinner and program beginning at 7PM. In addition to celebrating each of our award winners, you will also hear from incoming Doctors Manitoba President, Dr. Candace Bradshaw!
Our 114th Annual General Meeting will happen right before the Gala, starting at 5PM. We encourage you to attend to learn more about your
Association and offer feedback about the priorities for the year ahead.
You can see the official AGM notice and registration instructions here.
BIPOC Mental Health Worker List
Nine Circles has created a BIPOC Mental Health Worker list. This is a crowdsourced and free resource for Black, Indigenous and People of Colour identifying individuals seeking BIPOC therapists, counsellors and mental health workers in Winnipeg. Updated monthly, the list features
mental health workers of different races, ethnicities, spoken languages and professions. Find out more and access the list here.
Here are some important and popular recent updates, in case you missed them:
- We shared our reaction to the provincial budget last week. Find out what’s in the budget, and what we thought it means for physicians and their patients.
- There are updated Isolation & Return to Work Guidelines for Health Care Workers that may change your isolation period. And remember, Doctors Manitoba has negotiated an isolation benefit for physicians.
- We shared the new Endoscopy Referral Form & Guidelines now that FIT testing has been introduced in Manitoba.
- Newborn screening results are now available in eChart. Find out what you’ll find and where to find it.
Check out our events calendar for upcoming events for physicians. Here are a few highlights to consider over the next few weeks:
- MCFP Annual Scientific Assembly. April 28 and 29. Learn more and register here.
- COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Webinar by CanCOVID and the Immunity Task Force. May 5 at 1030AM. Learn more and register here.
- Transition to Residency Webinar, from Doctors Manitoba and the CFMS. May 3 at 6PM. Learn more and find out how to join the virtual meeting.