Healing Healthcare Together

The Diagnostic and Surgical Recovery Task Force is a team of respected healthcare professionals with significant expertise in surgical and diagnostic services, analysis and evaluation, governance and project management. Their focus is to recommend and implement meaningful improvements that will reduce wait times, improve patient care and address challenges in Manitoba's healthcare system.

The task force will address waitlists for diagnostic and surgical procedures, as well as related services affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This will include identifying the priority needs of patients and implementing local and out-of-province services as a temporary initiative to offer the safest and most timely health care solutions available.

Progress Updates

Gynecological Surgeries

The Manitoba government is developing an agreement with Maples Surgical Centre and other local partners to increase gynecology surgeries. Nearly 3,000 women are currently waiting for care and almost two-thirds of these procedures can be done through day surgery. This program will begin in early February and significantly decrease the wait for many patients.

Colon Cancer Screening

The Manitoba government is shifting to fecal immunochemical test screening, which provides more accurate results and also reduces the need for endoscopic procedures. This will provide more timely diagnosis and support better outcomes for individual clients. It will also free up operating room space for other procedures by decreasing the number of endoscopies by approximately 10 to 15 per cent per year, once fully implemented.

Hiring Anesthesia Clinical Assistants

The Manitoba government is preparing a plan to train and hire up to 13 new anesthesia clinical assistants (ACA) positions across the province over the next three years. Anesthesia is fundamental to effective, safe, and efficient medical procedures. ACAs allow anesthesiologists to increase their efficiency by being able to delegate and observe care simultaneously for more than one patient. This investment will double the number of ACAs currently working in Manitoba.

Spinal Surgeries

The Manitoba government is working on an agreement with Sanford Health in Fargo, North Dakota to provide spinal surgeries as a part of Manitoba's Out of Province Medical Referrals program. This measure will help reduce the waitlist for Manitobans, as the province builds its own capacity. Services will be offered later this year, as capacity allows, at Sanford Health Fargo. Eligible individuals will be referred by their care provider, typically for conditions such as spinal stenosis and chronic degenerative disc disease.

Approach & Deliverables

The work of the task force will focus initially on waitlists that resulted from the pandemic response. However, it's expected this will also create broader improvements throughout the health care system.

An initial report can be expected in the new year, which will set out an analysis of the current situation, progress made to date, and how success will be measured.

News & Resources

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