Table of Contents
- 1 Breadcrumb Trail Links
- 2 Article content
- 3 Advertisement 2
- 4 THIS CONTENT IS RESERVED FOR SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
- 5 SUBSCRIBE TO UNLOCK MORE ARTICLES
- 6 REGISTER TO UNLOCK MORE ARTICLES
- 7 Article content
- 8 Article content
- 9 Article content
- 10 Advertisement 3
- 11 Article content
- 12 Advertisement 4
- 13 Article content
- 14 Article content
- 15 Share this article in your social network
- 16 Advertisement 1
The Manitoba Health Coalition is calling on the province to take action on primary care after the Brandon Clinic announced it would close its walk-in clinic on July 4.
The closure of the Brandon Clinic and the turmoil at the Manitoba Clinic in downtown Winnipeg should serve as a warning to the province’s primary care system, MHC said in a Monday news release.
“In terms of the services they provide, the Brandon Clinic and the Manitoba Clinic (in Winnipeg) should be considered ‘too big to fail’,” said MHC provincial director Thomas Linner.
“The Manitoba government must be prepared to step in and take over operation of these clinics if necessary to preserve primary and specialist care for thousands of patients and to ensure that emergency rooms and urgent care clinics are not further overwhelmed.”
Brandon closed its walk-in services due to a lack of family physicians while the Manitoba Clinic is also losing doctors and is on the brink of financial collapse. Doctors Manitoba has said the province has the lowest number of family physicians in Canada and the third lowest number of specialists per capita. A survey done by OurCare.ca suggests that up to 300,000 Manitobans are without a family doctor.
Linner said that more must be done to recruit and retain doctors in Manitoba as well as increase funding to primary care models that do not rely on direct doctor renumeration. Linner pointed to Community Health Centres, which are non-profit organizations using a team-based approach involving different disciplines to deliver primary care.
“For the last seven years Manitoba’s health-care system has been subject to deep cuts, leading to chaos for patients, families and health-care providers,” said Linner. “Urgent action is needed to stabilize primary care, especially for the most vulnerable populations in our province, both rural and urban.”
In an email, a government spokesperson said that both the Brandon Clinic and the Manitoba Clinic are private companies and that the province does not provide operational funding to these clinics. The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and Prairie Mountain Health will continue to ensure care to Manitobans in the regions, the spokesperson said.
“Over the years, our government has advised the Manitoba Clinic of opportunities to partner with a number of organizations such as the Health Sciences Centre, Cancer Care Manitoba, and numerous other foundations,” the spokesperson said. “In addition, the University of Manitoba offered participation in the Bannatyne Campus master planning. Those efforts are ongoing and could provide resolutions for challenges to the corporation that owns and operates the Manitoba Clinic.
“Our government will continue to work with and encourage physicians and staff looking to enter the Manitoba health system to ensure there is no reduction in health human resource capacity.”
Shared Health did issue an RFP as part of the organization’s responsibility for the provincial supply chain and procurement on behalf of the health system, the spokesperson added. The successful proponent(s) will be tasked with the recruitment of a total of 150 physicians to work throughout the province, including Winnipeg, rural and northern Manitoba. The engagement of an external provider with expertise in this highly specialized area is expected to support the addition of primary care providers to support care in a number of Manitoba communities where access to a family physician is currently limited.