Citizens panel recommends Indigenous health dept. – Winnipeg Free Press

Dec. 12, 2023

THE creation of an Indigenous health department and a provincial health ombudsperson are among 37 new recommendations put forward by a public panel seeking improvements in the Manitoba health-care system.

The wide-ranging list — released today — shows demand for a durable plastic Manitoba health card, electronic medical records that are easily accessible by patients and doctors and clear accountability for health-care decisions and discrimination by care providers.

The panel also wants internet-based mobile clinics introduced in remote and rural Manitoba so patients don’t have to travel more than an hour to get routine medical care.

Dr. Amanda Condon, OurCare Manitoba co-lead and a family physician in Notre Dame de Lourdes, said the recommendations can guide local health professionals and policy makers as they rethink the delivery of primary care in Manitoba.

Unlike internal system reports where patients’ opinions are often missing, Condon said these recommendations were reached by an “informed public.”

“This isn’t decision makers and policy makers that are saying these things; these are people in Manitoba,” said Condon, an associate professor of family medicine at the University of Manitoba. “They all learned from and with each other to develop the recommendations — and I think that that patient voice is very powerful.”

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