Province Announces New Provincial Health Organization with a Focus on Patient-Centred Planning

June 28, 2017

Shared Health Services Manitoba Will Allow for Consistent Standards of Care, to Provide the Right Care, at the Right Time, in the Right Place: Goertzen

The Manitoba government is acting on the findings of numerous studies of the province’s health-care system and will establish a provincial health organization (PHO) to improve patient care and provide co-ordinated clinical and business support to the province’s regional health authorities, Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Kelvin Goertzen announced today.

“Manitoba’s health-care system is complex and siloed, with eight independent organizations each doing their own planning, standard setting and service delivery in relative isolation of one another,” said Goertzen.  “This is neither efficient nor effective and has been identified as a major impediment to improved access to quality health care and our ability to manage costs in a sustainable way.”

The creation of the new organization, to be named Shared Health Services Manitoba, stems from recommendations in both the 2015 commissioned Provincial Clinical and Preventive Services Planning for Manitoba report by Dr. David Peachey (the ‘Peachey report’) and the 2016-17 KPMG Healthcare Sustainability and Innovation Review.

KPMG identified Manitoba’s health-care system and governance model as overly complex for a province of this size.  Both that report and the Peachey report noted that while Manitoba’s government is responsible for overseeing the provincial health-care system, the province has never developed a provincial clinical and preventive services plan.  This is something that is in existence in many other jurisdictions and is essential to supporting effective health human-resource planning, capital equipment investments, construction planning and other initiatives that should be co-ordinated provincewide, added Goertzen.

“Manitoba patients and their families should be the central focus of both acute care and long-term planning across the health-care system,” said Dr. David Peachey.  “Manitobans will benefit from improved services, consistent standards of care across the province and the certainty that will result from a more integrated planning process.”

Goertzen announced the appointment of Dr. Brock Wright as the president and CEO of Shared Health Services Manitoba.   Wright will lead the new organization and will oversee the transformation of the provincial health-care system.

“Manitoba has very strong leadership in all major clinical specialties and the creation of Shared Health Services Manitoba will allow us to work across the province to develop and implement safe, patient-centred, cost-effective models of care, to set provincial standards and to support regions in the recruitment and retention of medical staff,” said Wright.  “We have a tremendous opportunity before us, the chance to realign and refocus our system to better meet the needs of Manitobans – reducing duplication, ensuring co-ordination and consistency and above all else, improving patient care and the overall sustainability of our health-care system.”

The PHO will repurpose the existing corporate shell of Diagnostic Services Manitoba (DSM), meaning no net increase in organizations within the health-care system.  The resources of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, which administratively houses a number of ‘provincial’ programs, and the functions of DSM and Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living (MHSAL) will be reviewed and reallocated between the new provincial health organization and a scaled-back Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.  MHSAL will divest its service delivery programs to Shared Health Services Manitoba while retaining focus on policy, planning, funding and oversight of the provincial health-care system.

Certain functions of the Winnipeg region will be shifted to Shared Health Services Manitoba so the expertise they hold may be used to better support the entire province, the minister noted.  The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority will refocus its efforts on local service delivery in Winnipeg and Churchill and on the continued implementation of the region’s Healing Our Health System plan.

The PHO will include provincial health human-resources functions that are currently administratively housed within the WRHA and MHSAL and which will be given a clear mandate in the areas of physician recruitment, health labour relations, and workplace safety and health.  It will also include support functions that are better managed provincially such as contracting and procurement, clinical engineering services, communications and legal services.

In addition, some health-care services will be managed centrally as they reach across more than one region.  This includes the operation of Health Sciences Centre, including Children’s Hospital, Transplant Manitoba, provincial laboratories, diagnostic imaging and emergency medical services including ambulance services and dispatch.

Regional health authorities will continue to be responsible for the provision of front-line health-care services in their region and will participate in provincial planning to ensure the delivery of effective services to all Manitobans, Goertzen said.

Today’s announcement does not impact the organizational structure of CancerCare Manitoba and Addictions Foundation of Manitoba, he added.

Detailed clinical and preventive services planning will continue over the coming months led by Lanette Siragusa, provincial lead, clinical and preventive services planning and oversight.  The establishment of clinical governance and a provincial medical staff will begin under the guidance of a Manitoba Clinical Leadership Council (MCLC) chaired by Dr. Denis Fortier, chief medical officer for Southern Health – Santé Sud.

The MCLC will include physicians, nurses and allied health professionals, and will assist in the identification of provincial leaders in all the major specialty areas.  These provincial specialty leads will work with their specialty colleagues from across the province to develop cost-effective models of care that utilize full scopes of practice, establish consistent standards of care and support regional health authorities in the recruitment and retention of health professionals.

Other provincial leads announced today include:

  • Jeanette Edwards – provincial lead, system integration and quality management;
  • Helen Clark – provincial lead, emergency medical services and patient transportation, and emergency and continuity management;
  • Beth Beaupre – provincial lead, health human resources;
  • Dr. Catherine Cook, provincial lead, Indigenous health;
  • Dr. Perry Gray – chief operating officer, Health Sciences Centre; and
  • Perry Poulsen – chief operating officer, Manitoba e-Health.

“Health care is the most important and the most expensive service provided by the government.  Manitoba families deserve to have access to the right care, at the right time, in the right place,” said Goertzen.  “We are taking concrete steps now to align health-care services with the needs of Manitobans, making our health-care system better, stronger and more affordable for Manitoba families in the years to come.”

For more information on the changes, visit

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