Theresa Oswald

This year has been almost beyond belief. I must confess to you all I have felt as if I might scream if I heard the word unprecedented” one more time.

Overused? Yes. Apt? Entirely.

Physicians have likely never worked harder to manage the stress and anxiety of their patients, and to respond to the emerging needs of a system under crisis. This high intensity situation has required Doctors Manitoba to step up its game as well. We have been inspired by your daily acts of heroism during the pandemic, and it is our privilege to do whatever we can to serve you.

The first sign of trouble in the spring was the lack of PPE when it was needed, especially for our community physicians. While we had never imagined ourselves as manufacturers and distributors, that is exactly the role we had to play until the supply chains stabilized.

Next came the tsunami of information about COVID-19 that was not unlike drinking from a firehouse. We hope our physician-focused concise updates have helped you stay up-to-date, along with our webinars and town halls. Uptake from members has been exceptional.

The implementation of the Special Pandemic Education Rebate is designed to support you in the continuous learning you are required to do, so be sure to apply if you have not done so already.

Perhaps the most challenging aspect of our work during COVID has been on the advocacy front.

Government has been painfully slow to give you the tools you need. It is fair to say we have been working seven days a week since March, and we have made important progress in securing expanded virtual tariffs, improved rates for a number of groups, and a COVID isolation benefit.

We know there is much more to do in this space, including pressing for a recovery plan for surgery and diagnostics, and ensuring the vaccine rollout goes much more smoothly than these early days.

Please know we are here for you, and we have programs designed with your needs in mind. Do not hesitate to reach out, for yourself, for a family member or for a colleague.

So, it’s true. These ARE unprecedented times. We believe we are better positioned than ever to respond to your needs, and we will continue to fight for you, every step of the way.

Respectfully submitted,
Theresa Oswald