The new report looking at recruiting doctors to rural Manitoba

A new report from the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce (MCC) and Doctors Manitoba is providing recommendations on how to recruit and retain more physicians in rural and northern Manitoba.

The report, which was released on Friday, makes recommendations based on stakeholder feedback, supported by research and expert consultation.

The report includes fives recommendations which are:

  • To recruit more physicians by expanding training, streamlining recruitment efforts, and finding financial support for transition to practice;
  • To find efficiencies to free up physicians’ time for more patient care;
  • To address physician burnout by reducing the administrative burden, reviewing on-call expectations, and improving physician engagement;
  • Retain physicians in practice for longer through better peer support and mentorship, helping with physician infrastructure costs, and enhancing the physician retention program; and
  • Support the role local communities and chambers of commerce can play in recruiting and retaining doctors.

“Health care in rural and northern communities is a top concern for our respective members and I believe by working together we’ve produced recommendations and concrete actions that can lead to real results for Manitobans seeking medical care,” said Dr. Candace Bradshaw, president of Doctors Manitoba, at a news conference on Friday.

According to MCC and Doctors Manitoba, the recommendations were created during an exercise at a rural health summit, which had more than 100 participants in attendance, including physicians, health system executives, and community and business leaders. A survey was also given out to both organizations’ memberships, with more than 450 responses.

The report was submitted to the health minister for the government’s consideration. Doctors Manitoba and the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce have offered to advise the province on the implementation of the recommendations.

Chuck Davidson, president and CEO of the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce, said a new report from the Association of Manitoba Municipalities shows that more than 90 per cent of the province’s municipalities are reporting doctor shortages, while nearly 95 per cent are allocating financial resources to recruit and retain health practitioners.

“There are and will continue to be considerable implications for rural and northern communities if these trends continue,” he said.

“Our members have made it clear to us that health care recovery and investment are a top budgetary priority followed closely by growing Manitoba’s economy.”

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