- COVID Updates
- NOVAVAX tariff added
- 2022 Awards Gala and AGM are 2 weeks away!
- New Group CME Grants Available!
- Update on Health Coverage for Ukrainians
- Federal Budget
- Learn about the Spirit Bear Plan
- Fantastic Physicians
- ICYMI — Recent Updates
- Upcoming Events
Public Health now posts weekly COVID-19 Surveillance Reports on Thursdays. This week’s report, which is again showing“decreased activity,” covers the week ending on April 30. Highlights include:
- Severe outcomes from COVID-19“decreased compared to the previous week.” There were 185 hospital admissions, down from 200 the week before. This includes 12 ICU admissions, the same as the week before.
- There were 14 deaths recorded, up slightly from 13 recorded the previous week. There have now been 1,819 deaths related to COVID-19.
- There were 1,042 lab-confirmed cases reported in Manitoba over the week, down from 1,436 the previous week. The test positivity rate was 20.7%, down from 23.4%
Updated wastewater monitoring trends were also released, with data ending April 21. The monitoring continues to show ongoing COVID-19 activity but with “generalized stability in activity.”
Doctors Manitoba has seen increased number of physicians reporting an isolation or illness due to COVID-19. For the week ending May 3, there were 32 physicians who submitted an isolation notice, fairly consistent from 33 last week. 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 Seroprevalance Data
New data from Canada Blood Services, released by the Canadian Immunity Task Force, found a major increase in COVID infections in March. Across Canada, 27.5% of blood donors had seroprevalence due to infection, up from 23.7% in February, 12.1% in January and just 6.4% in December.
In Manitoba, the infection-acquired seroprevalence was even higher, at 33%. This is the second highest in Canada, behind only Alberta, and up from 28% in February, 16% in January, and just 8% in December.
WRHA COVID Supports
The WRHA has updated its primary care guidance for COVID Treatment referrals, COVID assessment clinics, and their mobile testing or homebound vaccination. You can see the full update here, but we also have a summary below:
- COVID Treatment continues to require a referral. Current eligibility criteria can be found here.
- COVID Assessment Clinic: seven clinics continue to be designated as COVID-19 assessment clinics. They will accept referrals for COVID-19 positive patients with respiratory symptoms, COVID-19 positive patients with other primary care needs, and patients who have not tested positive but have an influenza-like illness or other respiratory symptoms and need in-person assessment.
- Mobile Testing continues to be available for eligible patients who cannot travel to a testing site to receive a COVID test.
- Homebound Vaccination continues to be available for patients unable to attend a clinic or other immunization site.
Tariff Added for Novavax
Manitoba Health has assigned a tariff for administering the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine. Use tariff code 8291 for each dose administered. You can find tariff codes for all types of COVID-19 vaccines, along with other billing information, in our vaccine remuneration guidance article.
Two Weeks Until Gala & AGM
Thursday, May 19 is only two weeks away, and that’s the evening when we will gather for our annual Awards Gala Dinner and our AGM. There’s still one week left to order your tickets and register! Join nearly 400 others who are already set to attend and celebrate the very best of Manitoba’s medical community.
At the Gala, you’ll hear from incoming Doctors Manitoba President Dr. Candace Bradshaw about the year ahead, as well as from Dr. Smart from the CMA. We will also celebrate each of our eight extraordinary 2022 physician award winners.
We have some important updates for you
- Hotel for Rural/Northern Physicians: We have held a limited number of hotel rooms for physicians joining us from out of town at the Delta Hotel, which is connected to the RBC Convention Centre, with a reduced promotional price for members. When contacting the Delta to book, mention Doctors Manitoba.
- Virtual Option for AGM: If you can’t make it to the AGM at 5PM, you can join virtually. The AGM will include important updates from outgoing President Dr. Kristjan Thompson and CEO Theresa Oswald. With the ongoing pandemic, and as we prepare to negotiate a new Master Agreement in the upcoming year, you won’t want to miss their remarks! Register Here.
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. Thank you to MD Financial and Scotiabank, our presenting sponsors, as well as as our Platinum sponsor Bokhaut Accounting.
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.
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.
New Group CME Grants Available!
We have introduced a new grant initiative, offering up to $20,000 for projects that deliver continuing medical education to a group or team of physicians in Manitoba. Any eligible physician in Manitoba can apply.
The first call for grant applications is now open, with applications due by May 23, 2022. The grants can cover eligible expenses for accredited education that occurs in Manitoba before the end of 2022. Funds can be used to cover accreditation costs, speaker fees and accommodation or travel or other expenses necessary to deliver the education to a group or team of physicians.
You can learn more about the new CME grant initiative here, and contact Barry Hallman at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Update on Health Coverage for Ukrainians
Please be advised that the Manitoba Government has extended eligibility for health insurance to all Ukrainian evacuees the day they arrive. If a person from the Ukraine presents at your practice without a health card, Manitoba Health requests the assistance of practitioners in advising evacuees of their eligibility for health insurance and directing them to obtain a card through one of three ways:
- Attend in person at the Reception Centre (Best Western Plus, 1715 Wellington Avenue in Winnipeg, near the airport), which is also the main hub for all settlement-related services for new arrivals
- Visit Manitoba Health’s Registration and Client Services counter at 300 Carlton St. in Winnipeg
- Apply online, including via email to email@example.com, or via fax to 204−783−2171, or toll free at 1−866−608−2983. All they need to apply is a copy of their identity documents, their visa (either work or visitor visas are both now acceptable), and a Manitoba address. There is also an online application form.
We are told health cards should be issued within 48 hours for Ukrainian evacuees. In cases where treatment cannot wait for the issuance of a health card, Manitoba Health is asking providers to “treat and hold” the paperwork for billing submission once the health card has been issued.
How can you help?
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.
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.
Federal budget 2022: Highlights for physicians
On April 7 Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland tabled a federal budget, with no new tax measures that significantly impact a physician’s practice — whether you are incorporated or not. With the focus on housing, environment and defense, which new proposals are likely to affect Canadian physicians and their families the most? Our partners at MD Financial have gone reviewed the budget in detail, and have a 4‑minute read for physicians interested in learning more. Check it out.
Spirit Bear Plan
Tuesday, May 10 is Bear Witness Day, focused on ending inequalities in public services for First Nations children, youth and families.
First Nations children and families living on reserve and in the Territories receive public services funded by the federal government. Since confederation, these services have fallen significantly short of what other Canadians receive. This injustice needs to end and Spirit Bear’s Plan will do just that.
A member of the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council in BC, Spirit Bear represents the 165,000 First Nations children impacted by the First Nations child welfare case at the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, as well as the thousands of other children who have committed to learning about the case and have taken part in peaceful and respectful actions in support of reconciliation and equity.
Learn more here and show your support on May 10 by posting a picture of a stuffed bear (or other animal) to social media using #JordansPrinciple and #BearWitnessDay to educate others. Be sure to tag @SpiritBear!
Congratulations to Dr. Fiona Vickers and Ms. Gabrielle Wilson CAME Rising Star – Certificate of Excellence Award Winners from the University of Manitoba! Dr. Fiona Vickers a first-year Métis Internal Medicine resident and Ms. Wilson, a member of Peguis First Nation and a fourth year student created a medallion symbol for inclusion with the ID badge used in the hospital to distinguish individuals who practice culturally safe medicine.
Congratulations to Mr. Stefon Irvine, CAME Rising Star – Certificate of Excellence Award Winner from the University of Manitoba! Mr. Irvine is a second year medical student at UM and the creator of the Biomed Bootcamp. The camp is supported by UGME, with Elders, Knowledge Keepers and other Indigenous change makers and is designed to support medical students as a pre-matriculation summer program prior to Med 1 clerkship.
Congratulations to one of our 2022 Medal of Excellence winners, Dr. Barry Lavallee who is a CAME Certificate of Merit Award Winner. He is recognized for co-leading Indigenous health curriculum development for undergraduate medicine at UM and creating an innovative and compulsory course that offers students insights into the role historic and ongoing colonization plays in driving the health inequities experienced by Indigenous peoples.
Congratulations to Dr. Melanie Morris, on being named (and recently awarded) the 2019 MRA Female Road Runner of the Year. Although she always loved running, she started her racing career late in life and raced her first marathon when her first and only child was 9 months of age, finishing Ottawa 2017 in 3:15. At 41 years old she went to Boston and raced in the worst conditions/hurricane since 1976 and finished in 3:19. However, it was in 2019 in her 3rd consecutive marathon that she started to see success finishing Grandma’s marathon in Duluth in 3:02. Félicitations, Dr. Morris!
Here are some important and popular recent updates, in case you missed them:
- We are very concerned about a government regulation that could add new record-keeping requires for physicians. We’re encouraging physicians submit feedback and we have a sample letter you can edit and send in. Feedback is due by May 12.
- A reminder we have created a new COVID-19 Testing and Treatment resource page to help physicians with the transition of testing to primary care. This includes clinical guidance, supply ordering instructions, patient resources and billing information.
- Hospital capacity remains strained across all departments, disciplines and programs.
- Practicing physicians should have received your 2021 CME Expenses email or letter this week.
Check out our events calendar for upcoming events for physicians. Here are a few highlights to consider over the next few weeks: