We are pleased to announce that Doctors Manitoba is receiving a grant to help reduce your administrative burdens through the Health Care Unburdened Grant program, a $10-million grant program from The Canadian Medical Association (CMA), MD Financial Management Inc. and Scotiabank. The program is designed to support innovative solutions to enhance patient care by reducing administrative work and improving processes and practices in health care. 

Doctors Manitoba is excited to receive this grant from the CMA, MD Financial Management Inc. and Scotiabank to support our work on reducing administrative burdens for physicians,” said Dr. Randy Guzman, President of Doctors Manitoba. Physicians spend over 10 hours per week on administrative tasks, and that excessive burden is a top cause of burnout and leaving practice, so fixing it is an essential part of fixing Manitoba’s physician shortage.”

The grant to Doctors Manitoba will support our two-year initiative to save physicians’ time by simplifying, standardizing or eliminating sick notes and medical certification.

Doctors are regularly asked by third parties for sick notes and various other forms of medical certifications, such as accommodation notes, disability assessments, and return-to-work forms, all of which vary depending on who’s asking for it. 

We will work to create clear guidance on sick notes to inform employer policies, collective agreements, or government regulations, with a goal to eliminate sick note requests where medical expertise is not adding meaningful value. We’re also aiming to create a universal set of standard forms for common third-party requests and identifying electronic solutions to further simplify the process for these forms.

This will be an extension of the work initiated by our Joint Task Force with the Manitoba government, including extensive research and consultation with doctors, employers, the insurance industry, and unions. This research revealed that doctors write over 600,000 sick notes per year, and a third of the time the patient no longer has any symptoms to verify — and doesn’t require medical care. That’s over 230,000 visits per year, just to get a sick note.

An additional 380,000 requests come to doctors annually for advice on accommodations and return-to-work assessments. While medical expertise certainly is necessary for some of these requests, there are as many different forms and processes as there are employers, insurance companies and educational institutions.

Learn more about the Health Care Unburdened Grant program recipients here.