WINNIPEG - Manitoba has established a task force to address the surgical and diagnostic backlogs in the province which Doctors Manitoba estimates at over 152,000.
“Adding more diagnostic and surgical procedures throughout the health-care system is a priority that requires us to take steps today, while developing plans to improve the system for Manitoba patients,” said health minister Audrey Gordon. “The strain put on Manitoba’s health-care system by the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the urgency of this work, but also highlights the need to find solutions over the short, medium and long term.
The task force will identifying the priority needs of patients and implement local and out-of-province services as a temporary initiative to offer the safest and most timely solutions available.
The task force includes highly respected local health care professionals, supported by experts from across Canada, and has already begun working on the issue including:
- creating a centralized information management system for health-care providers that will include surgical and diagnostic wait-list information to help streamline when and where surgeries and tests can be done as quickly as possible;
- ensuring health-care providers are working to their full scope of practice, such as licensed practical nurses, who can expand patient resources required for surgery;
- providing updates on a monthly basis to ensure timely, consistent and transparent information to Manitobans in line with recommendations;
- negotiating agreements with specialized health-care providers inside and outside of Manitoba who can increase the number of surgeries and other services that can be performed while the backlog is being reduced; and
- identifying patients who are ready for their procedures and could travel to another jurisdiction if it could be performed there sooner, while also identifying any supports they may need to do this safely.
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