WINNIPEG - The Manitoba government is launching a $14 million campaign to improve patient access to doctors and pharmacists across the province, address the health concerns of Manitobans, and advise them of the value of being immunized against COVID-19.
Premier Kelvin Goertzen says the funds will support community-focused and one-on-one outreach, allowing for increased doctors’ office visits by covering administrative costs and physician fees. The province says each physician's office can develop its own strategy to connect with patients, building on what’s most appropriate and effective based on existing relationships.
Health Minister Audrey Gordon says it’s vital that Manitobans who still aren’t protected against the risks of COVID-19 get answers to questions and concerns, and hear about vaccine benefits, from a trusted doctor or pharmacist close to home. “It’s also critical that we provide tools to the regional health authorities and health care providers who are having ongoing conversations with people about the vaccine,” Gordon says. “This will support our ongoing efforts to improve vaccine access and uptake in communities and neighbourhoods across the province.”
After nearly two million doses administered largely at supersites, Goertzen notes the province is changing focus. “As we move forward, our immunization strategy is shifting toward work at the community level to increase vaccination rates in the province to help protect our schools, our places of worship, our businesses and our health-care system,” Goertzen says.
The province is also working with doctors and pharmacists to develop a training program for regions with low vaccine uptake. Pharmacists Manitoba President Ashley Hart says pharmacists play an important role in working locally with patients and medical professionals on personal health strategies. “We look forward to being involved in efforts to reduce barriers and save lives,” Hart says.