November 17, 2023 - Media Release
MANITOBA GOVERNMENT CONCLUDES THE WORK OF SURGICAL TASK FORCE, TAKES STEPS TO BUILD CAPACITY IN MANITOBA
The Manitoba government is taking steps to conclude the work of the Diagnostic and Surgical Recovery Task Force (DSRTF), redirecting focus and funding back to public health-care delivery with priority investments in public surgeries and diagnostics, Health, Seniors and Long-Term Care Minister Uzoma Asagwara announced today.
“Manitobans deserve to get surgeries and diagnostic tests right here in Manitoba and our public health system can and will deliver them,” said Asagwara. “We have heard loud and clear from patients and frontline health-care staff that it’s time to deliver care here. As we wind down the task force, we will increase surgical and diagnostic capacity here in the province to reduce wait times for Manitobans.”
Shared Health will assume management of the current DSRTF structure. Patients who have scheduled care and those in the queue will receive treatments and procedures as scheduled, and there will be no delay during the transition, noted the minister. The Manitoba government will ensure patients are kept informed of the status of their treatments and procedures, the minister added.
“Manitobans who are already scheduled for an appointment will get the care they need and anyone waiting on the list for a surgery will continue to be eligible for care here in Manitoba,” said Asagwara. “No one will be left behind. We want Manitobans to know that while we are dissolving the DSRTF, we will be working more directly with health-care leaders across the province to ensure continued innovation and investment in capacity here in Manitoba.”
Starting with three approved projects, the Manitoba government will prioritize investments in public health care that will develop long-term capacity for the surgical needs of Manitobans and address surgical and diagnostic wait times that have existed for years in the province, said the minister.
The three projects include:
- a mobile MRI service to be deployed in the Northern Regional Health Authority;
- expansion of surgical slates at the Grace Hospital; and
- expansion of spinal surgery programs at Brandon Regional Health Centre, Concordia Hospital and Health Sciences Centre Winnipeg.
“Having an MRI machine in northern Manitoba is going to be a huge step in bringing care closer to our patients and their loved ones, thereby reducing the need to travel large distances to receive this service in southern Manitoba,” said Dr. Harsahil Singh, vice-president medical services and chief medical officer, Northern Health Region. “It will allow patients to get timely access to this important diagnostic tool. MRI enables clinicians to make critical clinical decisions that improves patient care, and we are excited to have this facility available in the north in the near future.”
“For the Grace Hospital, the addition of surgical slates for urology and arthroplasty means the community can expect enhanced surgical procedures, improved patient outcomes, and a higher standard of care,” said Asagwara. “This expansion will enable medical professionals to provide specialized treatments, addressing a broader range of medical needs within this community. We are excited about the positive impact this will have on the lives of patients and the overall well-being of the community.”