November 9, 2021
In today’s message you will find:
- Take our member survey
- COVID-19 Update
- Vaccine Update
- Leadership Speaker Series
- Need a funded PA at your clinic?
- Awards Dinner Tickets on sale until SUNDAY
- Nominate a worthy colleague
- Indigenous Mentorship Opportunity
- Allyship Event: Advancing Women in Healthcare Leadership
- Job Opportunity
Complete our Member Survey
Please take a few minutes to complete our short survey. Your feedback will help to shape our advocacy and ongoing pandemic response. If you complete the survey by November 14, you will be entered to win a complimentary ticket to our Awards Celebration Dinner on Saturday November 20 ($125 value).
Our survey covers three important topics:
- Manitoba has a new Premier. What do you think should be the government’s health care priorities?
- We are in the fourth wave, with rising cases and hospitalizations. How worried are you, and what do you think about the current restrictions?
- Have you been threatened, harassed or abused by a patient or the public? We need to know so we can better advocate for physician safety.
It will only take a few minutes to share your views on these issues, helping to chart our advocacy over the next few months.
If you complete the survey by this Sunday, you can enter a draw for a complimentary ticket to the Doctors Manitoba Award Celebration on November 20. If you already have already purchased a ticket, it can be refunded or it can be given to a colleague of your choice. If you can’t attend, we can donate your ticket to a medical student.
Since our last update on Wednesday, November 3:
- Daily cases up: 947 new cases of COVID-19 have been identified, a daily average of 158 (up from 116). This includes 185 new cases today. The total case count in Manitoba now stands at 64,878.
- Test positivity up: The provincial five-day test positivity rate is 6%, up from 4.9%.
- Active cases up: There are 1,438 active COVID-19 cases province-wide, up from 1,345.
- Hospitalizations up: There are 138 people in Manitoba hospitals due to COVID-19, a significant increase from 109 last Wednesday. This includes 28 COVID-related patients in Manitoba ICUs, up from 23.
- Fifteen more people have died from COVID-19. This brings the total COVID-19 related deaths to 1,266.
The COVID-19 situation has worsened since our last message. Hospitalizations have climbed to their highest level yet in the fourth wave. ICUs were at their normal baseline capacity going into this fourth wave, a very concerning place from which to start. Doctors Manitoba is monitoring ICU capacity daily, and connecting regularly with critical care specialists.
About one third all active cases are from the Southern health region, with its vaccination rate of 68%. COVID-19 patients from Southern also account for 41% of hospitalizations, and 54% of ICU patients, even though the region only accounts for 15% of Manitoba’s population. Since August 31, Southern health region has recorded 37 deaths related to COVID-19, which accounts for just over half of the 72 deaths observed provincially during this time.
According to Health Canada’s tracking, Manitoba had 74 cases per 100,000 over the last seven days, up from 60 last week. As the situation has improved in Alberta and BC, Manitoba now has the second highest rate of new cases among all provinces. Saskatchewan continues to have the highest rate at 87 per 100,000.
The government announced that it will now regularly share the test positivity rate by region. The data is current to November 3, and Southern Health is at the top with a test positivity rate of 14.5%, while Winnipeg has the province’s lowest rate at 2%.
US Border Opens
The US border opened to Canadians on Monday after a nearly two-year closure to non-essential travel. Canadian travellers will need to have a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of their return to Canada. The PCR test can cost about $200, and many cross border politicians want to see it scrapped to increase tourism and boost the economy. Canada’s Public Safety Minister has said officials will continue to follow the guidance of public health officials. Meanwhile, top doctors are looking at the PCR test and its efficacy. Once vaccination coverage is broader, with 5 – 11 year olds added to those eligible, the government hopes to do away with the expensive PCR test for returning Canadians.
COVID Treatment Pill
Two COVID-19 antiviral pills are or will be reviewed by Health Canada and regulators in other countries, offering another tool to help decrease the risks from the virus and disruptions from the pandemic.
Merck and Pfizer are pursuing emergency use of antiviral pills shown in trials to reduce the chance of severe illness. The findings are encouraging:
- Merck’s pill, known as Lavgevrio, was shown to lower the chance of hospitalization or death by 50% in patients at risk for severe illness, if the pill is given within five days of onset.
- Pfizer’s pill, known as Paxlovid, was shown to reduce the chance of hospitalization or death by 89% if given within three days of onset, and 85% within five days of onset.
Both pills are intended for adults in the early stages of COVID-19, with mild to moderate symptoms, and who are at risk for severe illness. The clinical trials have focused on patients who are unvaccinated.
The UK became the first country last week to authorize the use of Merck’s pill. Health Canada is reviewing the Merck pill now, and is expecting a submission from Pfizer soon.
See this summary from Reuters for more information.
Please note: we anticipate booster dose eligibility will be expanded broadly tomorrow. Details will be available at ManitobaVaccine.ca or on the government website when announced, likely after 12:30 PM.
Vaccine uptake continues its slow climb.
84% of eligible Manitobans are fully vaccinated, while 86.9% have at least one dose. Of the 185 new cases announced today, 103 are not vaccinated, 8 are partially vaccinated and 74 are fully vaccinated. For more details about the vaccine rates in Manitoba, review the province’s COVID-19 Vaccine Report page, which is updated daily, Monday to Friday at 12:30pm.
Order Now & Gear Up for COVID Vaccination Surge!
Manitoba Health is now accepting orders from doctors’ offices and pharmacies for the special pediatric dose of the Pfizer vaccine for children ages five to 11, in anticipation of Health Canada approval. That approval could come in the next week or two. Canada has secured enough doses for all children in this age group, and it is anticipated vaccine will be distributed within days of approval.
We strongly recommend pediatricians, family physicians and other specialists sign up and order doses now to avoid a delay when the first vaccine supplies are distributed.
- If you have not yet signed up to offer COVID vaccines in your practice, you can register here.
- If already registered, you should complete the survey distributed by Manitoba Health to request Pfizer pediatric vaccine. This is a new survey, distinct from the weekly order surveys used previously. The initial order survey should focus on ordering enough vaccine for the first 2 – 3 weeks after approval. You can access the ordering survey here.
Doctors Manitoba is anticipating higher levels of vaccine hesitancy or caution among parents for children in this age group. We will be holding a public vaccine town hall to help address public concerns, updating our ManitobaVaccine.ca site when the vaccine is approved, and sending facts and key messages to physicians to help you in responding to parents’ concerns.
Pfizer Webinar on Pediatric COVID Vaccine
Pfizer has scheduled three webinars for health providers on the pediatric COVID-19 vaccine. You can register now for the webinar. There are three options: November 12, 16 or 17. Click here to register.
Physician Leadership Speaker Series
Physician Leadership in Challenging Times: Building Capacity Through Connection is a four-part speaker series to give physicians an opportunity to build their leadership skills and knowledge and create opportunities for growth. The series was created in partnership with Doctors Manitoba and the University of Manitoba, Office of Leadership Education for Rady Faculty of Health Sciences is offered with generous support from Canadian Medical Association. It is a self-approved group learning activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Learn more about the series here. Download and print a poster to share with colleagues.
Need a Funded Nurse of PA in your Clinic?
The WRHA is calling on fee-for-service physicians to submit an expression of interest for their Inter-professional Team Demonstration Initiative (ITDI). This is an opportunity for fee-for-service primary care physicians to obtain a WRHA-funded nurse or physician assistant resource to support their practice and patients. There is an information session and panel presentation planned for tomorrow evening, November 10, at 5:30PM.
The expressions of interest are due by November 21. Additional information is available here.
Order your Awards Dinner Tickets by Sunday!
Join us on November 20 for our Annual Awards Celebration at RBC Convention Centre! We will gather (safely and responsibly) to celebrate our 2021 Doctors Manitoba award recipients. Please join us for the physician event of the year — tickets are available now. The deadline to purchase is Sunday, November 14.
In addition to honouring our 2021 Award Winners, the evening will include special guests and important tributes:
- Greetings from CMA President Dr. Katherine Smart, who is planning to join us in-person! She will also honour the 2020 CMA Honorary Members, including Dr. Arlene Walker, Dr. Carol Holmes, and Dr. Eric Sigurdson.
- Recognizing the heroism of Dr. Ken Hahlweg, who tackled the man attacking a nursing supervisor at Seven Oaks General Hospital last month.
- A toast to our 2020 award winners, who were recognized with a virtual event last year.
- A tribute to recognize the impact of the pandemic on physicians and how the medical community has responded from Dr. Candace Bradshaw, President-Elect of Doctors Manitoba.
The event will be emceed by Dr. Michael Boroditsky, Chair of the Awards Committee, and include remarks from Doctors Manitoba President Dr. Kristjan Thompson.
Nominate a Colleague
Our 2022 Awards Nominations are open!
We are pleased to announce that nominations are now open for the 2022 Doctors Manitoba Awards!
Nominations are due by December 14, 2021.
As the pandemic continues to disrupt medical care and so many other things in our lives, we don’t want to lose sight of recognizing excellence in the medical profession. The Doctors Manitoba Awards are the highest honour in the province for physicians. There are no shortage of physicians who have been demonstrating excellence this year. For some, this has meant contributing to the pandemic response and vaccination campaign in some way. For others, it has meant persevering during the pandemic to continue their work on patient care, research and other priorities.
There are five different awards available to recognize physicians:
- Doctors Manitoba Medal of Excellence – a relatively new honour to recognize those who demonstrate excellence in the medical profession and whose actions are a source of inspiration for other physicians.
- Physician of the Year Award – to celebrate an exceptional achievement or contribution to the practice of medicine and/or to the community by a member of Doctors Manitoba.
- Distinguished Service Award – to recognize a long career of services to patients and the community that embodies the highest standards and ideals of the medical profession, and in the promotion of the art and science of medicine through teaching, writing and administration. This is an excellent option to consider for physicians approaching retirement or who have recently retired.
- Resident of the Year – for excellence in academic and clinical training and noteworthy contributions to the resident’s home program/specialty or residency program.
- Dr. Jack Armstrong Humanitarian Award – to celebrate outstanding contributions by a member or former member of Doctors Manitoba in the service of humanity either within Canada or abroad. Awarded only when a suitable candidate is identified.
Nominate Jets Health Care Heroes
Shared Health and the Winnipeg Jets have teamed up to bring you Scheif’s Healthcare Heroes. You can now nominate a colleague or peer to be featured and celebrated at a Winnipeg Jets home game. Nominees will have“stepped up in immeasurable ways, supporting patients, residents and clients navigate the additional stress of accessing health services during a pandemic.” Each home game will celebrate a Manitoban working in healthcare who has made an impact during the pandemic. You can nominate someone here. Nominations are open now, until December 31. A new call for nominees will open in the New Year.
CMA Awards — Call for Nominations
Nominations are now open for the 2022 Canadian Medical Association (CMA) Awards. The CMA Awards recognize the dedication, successes and talents of Canadians who are making significant contributions to our health and health care. For information on how to nominate a colleague click here. The submission deadline is November 30, 2021.
Indigenous Physician Mentorship Opportunities
Are you an Indigenous physician interested in becoming a mentor? Are you in Indigenous medical student interested in becoming a mentee? With a need for on-going support throughout medical school and during professional transitions for Indigenous medical learners, The Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada has developed a mentorship program survey to further assess the needs of Indigenous Medical learners. Take the survey HERE.
Effective Allyship Event — Advancing Women in Healthcare Leadership
Equity in Medicine, a group of Canadian healthcare leaders growing a community of support to advance equity, diversity & inclusion in Medicine, has collaborated with Sanokondu to present Effective Allyship: Advancing Women in Healthcare Leadership.
You can register for the virtual event, which will be held on Tuesday, November 23 at 7pm. Register now!
Job opportunities — Access Fort Garry and Access Wpg West?
Practice opportunities are updated regularly on our website here.
ACCESS Fort Garry (AFG) Primary Care, a collaborative, multi-disciplinary clinic is seeking a full-time Primary Care Physician (CCFP Preferred). AFG Primary Care has a Walk-In Connected Care Clinic to help with non-emergency medical issues, access to Child Psychiatry, and Addiction Support Services. It acts as a Family Medicine residency teaching site affiliated with the University of Manitoba. Other services provided include community outreach with BHF and Oak Table, Teen Clinic, Family Medicine Obstetrics, Post Exposure Prophylaxis, and Latent TB Infection. Find out more about the position HERE.