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Budget 2013: Training, Recruiting More Doctors in Manitoba

May 3, 2013

Investments Will Help Ensure Every Manitoban Can Access a Family Doctor by 2015: Premier

The Manitoba government is supporting 15 more medical residencies and expanding doctor recruitment incentives, Premier Greg Selinger announced today.

“While there are more doctors practising today in Manitoba than ever before, we know we need more to give families access to better care sooner and closer to home,” said Selinger. “By investing in more training opportunities in Manitoba and more doctor recruitment grants, we are moving closer to ensuring all Manitobans can access a family doctor by 2015.”

Budget 2013 includes over $4.5 million to expand doctor training and recruitment initiatives including:

  • 15 new medical residency positions including seven family medicine residencies in rural Manitoba and eight specialist residencies in Winnipeg in emergency medicine, adolescent psychiatry, vascular surgery, internal medicine, and obstetrics and gynecology;
  • over $300,000 for additional grants that can cover the full cost of medical school for up to 23 more students who agree to practise in under-serviced communities after graduation; and
  • increased support for internationally educated doctors working toward being fully licensed to practise in Manitoba.

“The University of Manitoba has focused on increasing the number of Manitobans in medical school,” said Dr. Brian Postl, dean of the faculty of medicine at the University of Manitoba. “With new funding from the Manitoba government for additional residency positions in rural Manitoba as well as Winnipeg, we can train even more doctors to give families the care they need, especially for under-serviced communities in the province.”

The Manitoba government has expanded medical school training to 110 seats after it had been reduced to 70 seats during the 1990s, Health Minister Theresa Oswald said. Medical residencies are the last stage of training for doctors following medical school.

“When medical training is expanded, more doctors are recruited, but when it’s cut, you end up with fewer doctors,” said Oswald. “Our government won’t repeat short-sighted cuts to medical school training that led to fewer doctors working in Manitoba in the 1990s. Manitoba families deserve better.”

According to the College of Physicians and Surgeons, there are over 2,500 doctors working in Manitoba, over 500 more in the province than there was in 1999. Between 1993 and 1999, the college reported a decrease of 116 fewer doctors working in the province.

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