Primary Care

Primary care is the foundation of the health care system and a priority for Manitobans.

The Province of Manitoba is making strategic investments in order to provide better care for your family and develop a sustainable health care system.

Why a Family Doctor Plan?

Family Doctor FinderRight now, access to family doctors is not the same across the province. Yet we know that people who have a regular health care provider such as a family doctor are healthier and happier with their health services.  Having a regular family doctor can mean faster, more convenient service for you and your family, plus ongoing care and support from someone who knows you and your health needs. When you use primary care services in your community, providers can help detect and treat health problems early. For you and your family, this can mean fewer hospital stays, fewer emergency room visits, improved safety, and better health. This can also lead to reduced overall health care costs.  

Providing all Manitobans with access to a family doctor will require not only more doctors, but also key changes in the way family doctors and other primary care providers practice.

What is Primary Care?

Many types of care you receive can be described as primary care. For example, primary care refers to those times when you receive a diagnosis, treatment or help with a health problem, or even when a health care provider talks with you about staying healthy and preventing illness.

Many people think of primary care as typically provided by family doctors, but it can include nurses, midwives, dietitians, pharmacists, mental health professionals, therapists and others.

Primary care services lead to:

  • less need for hospital and emergency department visits
  • safer care
  • more satisfied patients
  • lower health care costs

This is especially true when health care is delivered by teams of providers that may include doctors, nurses, dietitians or any number of health professionals. The care offered crosses programs and services, supports long-term doctor/patient relationships and provides faster, more focused access to primary care.

Good primary care leads to a high-quality, sustainable health care system.

Better Care for Your Family

There are many changes taking place in primary care across the country, including in Manitoba. Healthcare service users such as yourself have been clear about what you want from your primary care services. It includes:

  • faster access
  • options to get care outside office hours
  • access to a regular doctor who’s part of a team of other health care providers (such as dietitian, nurse practitioner, midwife, occupational therapist)
  • a greater focus on promoting good health and preventing disease
  • access to a person’s health information by health providers involved in their care
  • better connections between health and other sectors in co-ordinating an individual’s care
  • better communications on how to find resources, and how to access needed information within a large, institutional health care system
  • involvement by individuals in their own care and health care decisions
  • a “door” to care for those who might not look for or know where to go for service.

Manitoba is committed to providing you these types of services in a consistent, co-ordinated way that meets your needs and the needs of your families and communities. One key step is the introduction of My Health Teams, a new way to provide primary care services across Manitoba. Some other actions involve expanding same-day and next day appointments, creating Mobile Clinics, developing new ways to fund primary care services (Physician Integrated Network), promotion of self-management, greater use of TeleCARE, promoting use of electronic medical records, and funding midwives and new models of birth services. You can learn more by going to the web pages listed on the left.