In today’s message you will find:
- Government Adopts Our Recommendations
- Nominations Open for 2023 DRMB Awards
- COVID Update
- Children’s Hospital ER in Crisis
- Health System Updates
- CMA Practice Management Curriculum Sessions
- ASA Call for Submissions
- Upcoming Events
Government Adopts Our Recommendations
The following is an update from Doctors Manitoba President Dr. Candace Bradshaw:
Earlier today, I had the opportunity to attend an event with Premier Heather Stefanson and Health Minister Audrey Gordon where they unveiled a $200 million health human resource plan. I am delighted to share that many of our recent recommendations, which have come from the advice of our members, are included in the government’s action plan to retain, train and recruit more health care providers.
The plan responds to some of our proposals to make physicians’ work easier and more streamlined, while offering more support and resources at the same time. It also acts on some of the recommendations from our Rural Health Summit. The government’s new commitments include:
- Establishing a centralized service, called VECTRS, to support rural and Northern physicians in obtaining specialist advice and, when needed, locating available beds and coordinating patient inter-facility transfers.
- Offering financial support to community-based practices for increased costs related to PPE.
- Expanding tools for physician-to-physician collaboration, such as CORTEXT secure messaging and eConsult.
- Offering incentives and support to extend primary care clinic hours, for those clinics with capacity and interest to do so.
- Expanding virtual care to include group psychotherapy virtual visits.
- Expanding training for physicians, which we believe will include more spaces in medical school, residency and the licensure program for IMGs.
The government has also committed to important steps to support physicians and address burnout. They have agreed to form a joint task force to reduce the administrative burden on physicians. We also heard they will support our request to expand burnout and mental health resources, which we hope will include peer support and more resources for physician health services. The action plan also included several items to support retaining, training and recruiting more nurses as well. We know the shortage of nurses has caused distress for many physicians, so I am happy to see movement for the nurses too.
Obviously, there is a lot more we need to know. We need details and timelines. Our team at Doctors Manitoba will be pressing for more information and offering to support a rapid implementation. At the same time, we are gearing up to negotiate the next Master Agreement, which will address many of the longer term support and resources physicians need.
I want to take a moment to say thank you to the many physicians, residents and medical students who have taken the time to share their ideas and frustrations. Your feedback and advice do make a difference, and I see many of your ideas in today’s announcement. The government said today this is “just the beginning” and there is more to come. I welcome your continued feedback about what else is needed now to support physicians and keep you in practice.
You can learn more about today’s announcement below:
Dr. Candace Bradshaw
Nominate a Colleague
Our 2023 Awards Nominations are open!
We are pleased to announce that nominations are now open for the 2023 Doctors Manitoba Awards!
Nominations are due by December 15, 2022.
As the effects of the pandemic continue to disrupt medical care and many other parts of our lives, 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:
- Humanitarian Award (new criteria) – to celebrate a current or former member of Doctors Manitoba for their outstanding contributions to improving human well-being or their commitment to community service. New this year, Doctors Manitoba will now offer to support the humanitarian or community service work of the winner, including a significant financial contribution to the charity or non-profit organization of the award winner’s choice and/or promoting that charity or non-profit organization and soliciting donations at our Annual Awards Gala.
- 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.
- Resident of the Year – for excellence in academic and clinical training and noteworthy contributions to the resident’s home program/specialty or residency program.
- 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.
- Medal of Excellence – to recognize those who demonstrate excellence in the medical profession and whose actions are a source of inspiration for other physicians.
- Special Medal of Excellence for Physician Health — we have designated one Medal of Excellence this year as a special award to recognize a champion for improving physician health and well-being. Nominees should have demonstrated commitment to improving the health and well-being of physicians and/or medical learners.
COVID Surveillance Update
Public Health posts weekly COVID-19 Surveillance Reports on Thursdays. This week’s report covers the week ending November 5 and shows similar activity to last week. Highlights include:
- There were 110 hospital admissions, down from 116 last week. This includes 8 ICU admissions, up from 7 last week. Weekly hospital admissions last peaked at 264 in the week ending April 16.
- There were 11 deaths recorded, the same as last week. There have now been 2,256 deaths related to COVID-19.
- There were 341 lab-confirmed cases reported in Manitoba over the last week, down from 411 last week.
- The test positivity rate was 25%, down from 28.7% last week.
HSC Children’s hospital’s ER in Crisis
The Health Sciences Centre Children’s hospital ER is in crisis with an overwhelming number of patients presenting with severe respiratory illness as a result of RSV and other respiratory and cold and flu viruses circulating even earlier in the season than usual. We have seen a 45 per cent increase in patients presenting to the ER and staffing challenges and supply chain issues for pediatric medications for pain and fever only add to the problem.
Dr. Elisabete Doyle, medical director of HSC Children’s Hospital says that “we’re seeing more volume and more acuity than we’ve seen even pre-pandemic, in large, large volumes. It’s unprecedented.” This surge in cases of respiratory viruses in Manitoba over the last few weeks is linked to both how many respiratory viruses are circulating in the community and eased pandemic rules that have allowed those illnesses to re-emerge, Dr. Doyle reports. Dr. Doyle also noted that the virus season in Australia, which usually offers insight into how Canada’s flu season will evolve, suggests the situation will likely get worse.
There are available and planned treatments for RSV that will help with this surge in infections and hospital visits. These include vaccines and treatments for both pregnant women and infants and Moderna mRNA vaccines for older adults which are in Phase 3 clinical trials. Last week the European Commission authorized a one-dose RSV drug called nirsevimab. It’s a laboratory-developed antibody designed to protect infants during their first exposure to RSV. Immunization advisory committees like NACI may consider the use of nirsevimab in all infants
In an effort to reduce the number of patients at Children’s ER, Shared Health is reminding Manitobans that there are other locations to treat pediatric severe illness and injury, while also reminding caregivers of the many preventative measures that will reduce exposure. Manitobans can visit the Where do I go with a sick or injured child? page to review options.
We want to hear from you about strategies to alleviate the strain on Children’s ER. Email COVID19@DoctorsManitoba.ca with concerns or suggestion.
Health System Updates
Below are two important updates for physicians we are distributing for Shared Health on the pain medication shortage and the provincial spine clinic expansion.
Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen Supply Shortages
Some regions of Canada are seeing limited supply of children’s acetaminophen (Tylenol®, Tempra®) and ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®), during the current cold/flu season. Both liquid and chewable products may be impacted. Emergency departments are also seeing an increase in the number of patients presenting for cold/flu symptoms, including some who have been unable to find children’s medication.
To support appropriate care and management of children’s cold/flu symptoms, while minimizing the number of patients visiting emergency departments related to minor symptoms, the following guidance has been developed. Parents/guardians are being encouraged to have conversations with their primary care provider and/or pharmacist. The materials below will help guide those conversations.
Primary care providers and pharmacists are encouraged to review these materials and make them available for patients inquiring about children’s acetaminophen and ibuprofen.
A few other helpful reminders that you may wish to share with your patients.
Spine Clinic Expansion
The Provincial Spine Assessment Clinic has expanded to be able to accept referrals from both Winnipeg and Brandon surgeons, with both in-person and virtual consultation available. This model has proven successful in improving the management of chronic spinal pain amongst Manitobans since the Winnipeg Spine Assessment Clinic opened in 2015, with approximately 90 percent of referrals able to be helped through non-surgical treatments including physiotherapy, chiropractic care and other pain management solutions. Shared Health is expanding this model to rural Manitoba. Primary care providers should continue to use existing spine referral forms when referring patients experiencing spinal pain. Surgeons will review referrals and direct appropriate patients to the Provincial Spine Assessment Clinic based on acuity and patient information provided.
CMA Practice Management Curriculum sessions
Endorsed by Resident Doctors of Canada, the Practice Management Curriculum (PMC) helps medical residents develop the skills they need to transition into practice with confidence. This series of seminars, tailored to family practice and specialty residents, covers topics like insurance, finances, billing principles, contracts, negotiations and more. All sessions are developed and hosted in partnership with the specified medical schools. There are two upcoming sessions. The November 17th session will cover financial management, investment basics, insurance, taxes and accounting. The November 24th session will cover the ‘to-dos’ when starting a practice, setting up a practice including staffing, understanding how to bill and get paid, contracts and negotiations, and resources for new physicians in Manitoba.
ASA Call for Submissions
The Continuing Education and Research Committee is excited to issue a call for abstract submissions for the 2023 Annual Scientific Assembly. The ASA will be held on April 28, 2023. We are excited to provide a hybrid event this year, combining the convenience of our recent virtual events, with the opportunity to connect with our colleagues in person again. Submissions will be accepted until November 15, 2022 and will be reviewed by the Continuing Education and Research Committee to determine the academic curriculum for the 2023 ASA. Please email your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org If you have questions about the call for abstracts, email Staci Bailey, MCFP Director of Operations email@example.com
Here are some important and popular recent updates, in case you missed them:
- Our advocacy for solutions the health care challenges in rural Manitoba got National attention last week.
- We have guidance on changes to CPSM’s Virtual Medicine Standard of Practice
- New Return to Work Guidance for Health Care Workers.
- We’ve added new Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (with mindfulness) CBTm courses for the new year!
- Nominations are open for CMA’s President-Elect
- Nominations are Open for CMA Awards — Nominate a colleague before the November 30th deadline.
- There’s a new Major CMPA credit for 2023
Upcoming events are always listed on our events calendar.
CFMS & Doctors Manitoba — Insurance Literacy - November 22 | 6pm
Understanding insurance has been voted one of the top three financial literacy topics among medical students. Join us for this informative session. Topics will include:
- Medical Student Financial Risk Management
- What is Life, Disability, and Critical Illness Insurance?
- Find out what happens to your student insurance in residency
- Your provincial medical association special student offers
Building the Foundations of Anti-Oppressive Healthcare—November 22 from 8:00am to 12:00pm CST
Learn the language and frameworks of anti-oppression and social justice. Explore how the Canadian healthcare system continues to participate in discrimination and oppression, and how health care professionals can engage in praxis – theory-informed action in the pursuit of social justice. Participants will be asked to critically reflect on their own assumptions and behaviours; to interrogate organizational practices and policies; and to identify ways to use their social power to disrupt, reshape, and reimagine our workplaces and institutions. Jointly offered by CFD and Office of Inclusion and Diversity.
Raising Awareness — Avoiding Unauthorized Health Products Online — Two sessions left in November.
This webinar is intended to increase awareness of the prevalence of unauthorized and/or adulterated health products in the online market place. This webinar will also provide resources to health care professionals in order to guide patients to legitimate sources of compliant health products.
- Supporting Family Caregivers to Navigate Health and Community/Social Care Systems: Three Navigation Models — November 15 1 – 2:30pm
- Anti-Racism in the Wellness Industry — November 15 — 10 – 11:30am
- rTMS & Ketamine: Treatment Resistant Depression — November 17 — 11am-12pm
- The National Pancreas Conference — November 19 – 20
- Supporting Return to Health and Work after an Injury — November 22 — 6 – 8pm