About the Task Force


The task force's mandate includes:

  • creating a centralized information management system for healthcare providers that will include surgical and diagnostic waitlist information to help streamline when and where surgeries and tests can be done as quickly as possible;
  • ensuring healthcare providers are working to their full scope of practice, such as licensed practical nurses, who can expand patient resources required for surgery;
  • providing updates on a monthly basis to ensure timely, consistent and transparent information to Manitobans in line with recommendations;
  • negotiating agreements with specialized health care providers inside and outside of Manitoba who can increase the number of surgeries and other services that can be performed while the backlog is being reduced; and
  • identifying patients who are ready for their procedures and could travel to another jurisdiction if it could be performed there sooner, while also identifying any supports they may need to do this safely.

The task force is comprised of a steering committee and a project team. The steering committee is comprised of citizens, patients, Indigenous representatives, front-line care providers and provincial clinical specialty leaders. The steering committee oversees the work of a task force project team.

The committee consults with local health system providers and groups and assesses existing approaches to managing access to care to identify opportunities to improve access to surgical and diagnostic services. The task force's steering committee includes:

  • Dr. Peter MacDonald, chair
  • Dr. Ed Buchel, provincial specialty lead, surgery;
  • Dr. Chris Christodoulou, provincial specialty lead, anesthesia;
  • Dr. Marco Essig, provincial specialty lead, diagnostic imaging;
  • Dr. Amin Kabani, provincial specialty lead, diagnostic laboratory services;
  • Dr. Luis Oppenheimer, patient representative;
  • Dr. David Hochman, general surgeon;
  • Stephanie Betker, registered nurse;
  • Monica Leahul, registered nurse;
  • Julianne Sanguins, M├ętis representative;
  • Sandra Sukhan, citizen representative;
  • Birgit Hartel, citizen representative; and
  • David Matear, provincial executive director of the Diagnostic and Surgical Recovery Task Force