Physicians welcome the announcement today of the Diagnostic and Surgical Recovery Task Force by the provincial government. This is a positive step forward to addressing the massive backlog, which is still getting bigger every day. 

The Task Force has an unquestionably challenging task. The backlog here has topped an estimated 152,000 surgical and diagnostic cases. Manitoba has faced more surgery disruptions than other provinces during the pandemic, and the cancelations continue as nurses are once again redeployed to support overwhelmed and understaffed ICUs. 

We are encouraged by the Task Force’s mandate and the physician and public expertise on the steering committee. Assuming the Task Force has access to the funding and support it needs, we believe it can get the job done. 

What we did not hear today is a how long it will take to clear this backlog. Manitobans need to know how long their wait will be. We look forward to the government setting a target date to clear the backlog in the coming weeks.