Manitoba NDP Will Connect More Manitobans with a Family Doctor by Expanding Primary Care Teams
Friday, September 8, 2023 | Treaty 1 and Dakota Territory, Homeland of the Red River Métis, Winnipeg MB - Today, NDP Leader Wab Kinew was joined by health professionals to announce the Manitoba NDP’s plan to expand team-based health care and open five new family medical centres across the province. Expanding team-based care will help address the family doctor shortage, improve retention and ease the strain on our ERs by relying not only on doctors to deliver primary care but utilizing a full team of professionals with diverse skills.
“We know the best solutions for our health care system come from the frontlines,” said Kinew. “Expanding team-based care is one of those solutions and a Manitoba NDP government will act on it. Our commitment means more Manitobans can connect with a family doctor and primary care providers faster. We know team-based care is also a great retention tool, reducing burnout and keeping family doctors in our health care system. Instead of sitting on a waiting list, our plan will have you sitting in a doctor's office getting the care you need.”
Under Heather Stefanson, Manitoba has one of the worst doctor shortages in the country and 43% of doctors plan to leave the system, often because of burnout. Doctors Manitoba say the province needs 400 more physicians to meet the national average and the shortage is the worst it's ever been. It can take up to eight weeks just to get a call back from Manitoba’s family doctor finder – and the wait times to be seen by a family doctor are even longer.
As part of their $500 million recruitment strategy, the Manitoba NDP aims to hit Doctors Manitoba’s target of hiring 250 health providers to work in doctors' offices and medical clinics over the next four years. The Manitoba NDP also committed to opening 4 new family medical centres in Winnipeg and 1 in Brandon staffed by primary care teams.
This plan will help new and existing clinics become one-stop shops where families can have all their needs met by Primary Care Teams. These teams can include family doctors, nurse practitioners, mental health workers, physician’s assistants, social workers, pharmacists and other allied health professionals. This initiative will respond to local community health needs while complementing services already available in local clinics and will make Manitoba a national leader in transforming medical care.
“Team-based care is the future of primary care,” said family physician, Dr. Will Ring. “It is the best way to provide care for patients, and it’s time for Manitoba to embrace it more fully. With team-based care, health care providers can meet our patient’s complex health needs all in one place. That’s why I support the NDP’s plan.”
“I fully support this commitment today,” said Kelly-Ann Stevenson, registered psychiatric nurse. “In my current work, I only see a snapshot of a young person’s life. That’s not enough. The network around the patient is so important, especially for young people. That’s why family clinics with team-based care are so valuable.”