Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living

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InfoHealth Guide

What are your rights as a patient?

What are your rights as a patient?In Manitoba, you have the right to make decisions about your own health.

You have the right to ask questions and get answers in a timely manner. You have the right to a second opinion if you wish to seek one. You have the right to ask about your health care provider’s experience and credentials.

If you are not satisfied with the care you or someone you care about receives, you have the right to take action. The first step is talking with your caregiver or supervisor. If that doesn’t resolve your concerns, you have other options.

Many hospitals, personal care homes and regional health authorities have someone you can contact directly with complaints. If your complaint is not handled by the facility or the regional health authority representative, you can appeal to senior managers of the regional health authority.

Informed consent

Before you undergo care or treatment, you have the right to give your consent – or refuse the treatment. Parents or guardians have the right to give or refuse consent for their children. You have the right to ask questions, to get a second opinion from another physician and to involve loved ones in making decisions about your care or treatment. The person asking for your consent must give you all the information the average person in your circumstances would want to have before making a decision, including:

  • benefits and risks
  • possible side effects
  • treatment options
  • who will provide treatment
  • the consequences of refusing treatment

You should only give your consent voluntarily, without feeling pressured.

Patients and their families are encouraged to ask for the information they need to be active participants in their own health care.

Personal health information

Regional health authorities and health care providers are responsible for keeping your personal health information private. You have the right to access the information in your health care record as well as the right to authorize another person – usually a family member OR advocate – to access this information on your behalf. (See Directing your health care decisions) With this permission, your family member or advocate can be kept informed and can assist with your health care decisions.

You and/or the person you have authorized have the right to get a response to a request for current care information within 24 hours at a hospital or other acute care facility; and within 72 hours at a personal care home or doctor’s office. Patients and their families are encouraged to ask for any information they need to be active, informed participants in the care that they or their loved ones receive.

More info

1-800-392-1207 Toll free

Personal Health Information Act

Directing your health care decisions

You have the right to decide what kind of care you do and do not want to receive. You can ask someone you trust to support you in making health care decisions and represent your interests. This person is known as a “patient advocate.” Visit the Manitoba Institute for Patient Safety website or call 204-927-6477 (in Winnipeg) for information and a patient advocate form. The form has information and a checklist to help you decide how you want your advocate to assist you.

Some people become unable to speak for themselves and voice their decisions. It’s important to tell your doctor or health professional in advance who you want to make care and treatment decisions for you should you become unable to speak for yourself.

You can write a health care directive or a living will to name this person, who is called a “health care proxy.”

More info

Phone for a directive/living will form (Seniors Information Line):
204-945-6565 in Winnipeg
1-800-665-6565 Toll free

Living Will (a.k.a. Health Care Directive)

Critical incident reporting

Patients, clients, residents and their families have the right and are encouraged to report any unintended harm that they feel has occurred as a result of insured health care services in Manitoba. Known as a “critical incident,” such harm may result in disability, injury, unplanned admission to hospital or other serious consequences. It is important to report such incidents so they can be addressed to prevent the event from happening again.

If a critical incident has occurred in any health care facility, patients and/or their families must be notified as soon as possible. All acute care and long-term care facilities in the province are committed to work with the person affected by the incident, and that person’s family, in following up with a critical incident report that includes the following:

  • all facts about what occurred (as they become known),
  • how the critical incident affects the patient’s health, and
  • actions taken (or to be taken) to deal with these health effects, such as
    recommended treatment.

To report an incident directly to the Critical Incident Reporting Line, call 204-788-8222 (in Winnipeg); contact your regional health authority office if you live elsewhere in Manitoba.

Patient safety

You can help your doctor and other health care providers to provide the best care possible by taking an active interest and role in your health care. Keep a record of your medications, ask questions and appoint a family member or friend as your advocate to help and support you. Complete a living will so that you have someone you trust to make decisions when you are unable to speak on your behalf.

Contact the Manitoba Institute for Patient Safety to obtain a medication card and to find information on questions to ask. Go to or call 204-927-6477 (in Winnipeg).

Protection for persons in care

If you have concerns that you or someone else in a personal care home, hospital or the Selkirk Mental Health Centre may be subject to physical, sexual, mental, emotional or financial mistreatment, you have a responsibility to report the situation to the Protection for Persons in Care Office.

More info

204-788-6366 in Winnipeg
1-866-440-6366 Toll free

204-774-8618 in Winnipeg
1-800-855-0511 Manitoba Relay Services Toll-free



Protection for Persons in Care

Confidential health care fraud line

The public, health care staff and health care practitioners who have information about possible fraud or cheating in the health care system can report it confidentially at 204-786-7118 in Winnipeg or toll-free 1-866-778-7730.

Health concerns

If you have concerns about your health, please talk to your health care provider. If you have concerns about health care services, please contact your Regional Health Authority.

Further appeals

further appealsYou have a right to appeal if you are not satisfied with certain decisions about insured medical services, including out-of-province medical services, residential charge rates, home care services or the Manitoba Hepatitis C Assistance Program.

Call the Manitoba Health Appeal Board for more information or write to:

Manitoba Health Appeal Board
102-500 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, MB R3C 3X1
Phone: 204-945-5408 in Winnipeg or toll-free 1-866-744-3257

Psychiatric patients have the right to appeal their admission to or treatment in a psychiatric facility:

Mental Health Review Board
Phone: 204-945-6050
Toll-free: 1-855-630-5362

If you have a case of discrimination:

The Manitoba Human Rights Commission
Phone: 204-945-3007 in Winnipeg or toll-free 1-888-884-8681
TTY: 204-945-3442

If you believe a law has been broken related to your care, you can write to:

The Manitoba Ombudsman
750-500 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg MB R3C 3X1

You can also phone the Ombudsman's office at 204-982-9130 in Winnipeg or toll-free 1-800-665-0531. Or you can visit their website at or send an e-mail to:

Manitoba’s health professions each have a governing body under the law that deals with concerns about the conduct of their members.

For concerns about Contact Phone Number
Audiologists and Speech Pathologists Manitoba Speech and Hearing Association 204-453-4539
Chiropractors Manitoba Chiropractors’ Association 204-942-3000
Dental Hygienists College of Dental Hygienists of Manitoba 204-219-2678
Dentists Manitoba Dental Association 204-988-5300
Denturists Denturist Association of Manitoba 204-897-1087
Dietitians College of Dietitians of Manitoba 204-694-0532
Doctors College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba 204-774-4344
Licensed Practical Nurses College of Licensed Practical Nurses 204-663-1212
Midwives College of Midwives of Manitoba 204-783-4520
Occupational Therapists College of Occupational Therapists of Manitoba 204-957-1214
Opticians The Opticians of Manitoba 204-982-6060
Optometrists Manitoba Association of Optometrists 204-943-9811
Pharmacists The Manitoba Pharmaceutical Association 204-233-1411
Physiotherapists College of Physiotherapists of Manitoba 204-287-8502
Podiatrists College of Podiatrists of Manitoba 204-942-3256
Psychiatric Nurses College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Manitoba 204-888-4841
Psychologists Psychological Association of Manitoba 204-487-0784
Registered Nurses and Nurse Practitioners College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba 204-774-3477
Respiratory Therapists Manitoba Association of Registered Respiratory Therapists 204-944-8081