66 More Doctors Working in Communities Across Province

August 19, 2015

Commitment to Increase Number of Doctors Working in Province Exceeded: Minister Blady

There are 66 more doctors providing care to Manitoba families throughout the province as compared to the same time last year, Health Minister Sharon Blady announced today.

“We have made significant investments in training and recruitment, and our efforts are working for Manitoba families,” said Minister Blady. “Today, more Manitobans than ever are able to access the quality health care they need, while also benefitting from the work being done to strengthen our health-care system as a whole.”

The minister noted that there has been a net gain of 276 physicians in Manitoba since 2011, exceeding a commitment to increase the number of doctors working in the province by 200.

This year’s increase brings the total number of doctors to an all-time high of 2,748. The numbers are compiled by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba and show a net increase of more than 732 doctors since 1999. Today, more than 2,116 physicians are practising in Winnipeg, with another 632 working in Brandon, rural and northern Manitoba.

Provincial investments to train, recruit and retain more doctors include:
• expanding the number of medical school training seats at the University of Manitoba faculty of medicine to 110, following a reduction to 70 seats during the 1990s;
• adding new medical residency training positions at the University of Manitoba for a total of 139 first-year, post-graduate seats;
• adding additional rural residency training positions including five in the northern and remote residency stream beginning in 2013-14;
• adding four first-year medical residency training positions in Brandon; and
• introducing a 60 per cent tuition rebate to help retain Manitoba graduates and attract physicians.

“We are pleased to partner with the government to address the health-care needs of our communities by educating and training more physicians to serve Manitobans around the province,” said Dr. Brian Postl, dean, college of medicine and dean, faculty of health sciences at the University of Manitoba.

The minister noted that with a record number of doctors practicing in Manitoba, the family doctor for all plan is on track to ensure that all Manitobans who want one will have access to a primary care practitioner by the end of 2015.

Since the program began in July 2013, more than 30,000 Manitobans have found a family doctor or nurse practitioner through the Family Doctor Finder Program. Since July 2014, more than two-thirds were matched within five days. The program gives Manitobans an easy way to connect with a family doctor or nurse practitioner. To date, 95 per cent of registrants without a health-care provider have found one through the program. The program has also connected more than 5,000 people who already had a family doctor with a new primary care provider.

For more information on physician recruitment in Manitoba, visit www.healthcareersmanitoba.ca.

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