Manitoba considering sending patients to Fargo, N.D., amid diagnostic and surgical backlog
Manitoba's health minister has released details on a plan that could see some patients sent to Fargo, North Dakota to help alleviate a surgical and diagnostic backlog in the province.
On Wednesday, Manitoba Health Minister Audrey Gordon along with several members of the Diagnostic and Surgical Recovery Task Force outlined four measures the province will take to address the backlog.
Gordon said the province is working on an agreement with Sanford Health in Fargo for specialty spine services as part of Manitoba's out-of-province medical referrals program. She said no surgeries are scheduled at this time, but said this will be an interim measure when the situation is safe and Sanford is in a position to deliver the services effectively and safely.
A spokesperson for Sanford Health told CTV News it is not preparing to accept any new patients from Manitoba in the immediate future. They said Sanford Health will only accept patients, "At a mutually agreed upon time as the pandemic and our capacity allows."
The Sanford Health spokesperson said the agreement is not signed at this point, but they expect it to be finalized in the near future.
The province said this option will be available to certain people by referral from their healthcare provider. It said this would typically be for people with conditions including spinal stenosis and chronic degenerative disc disease.
The province said the service will be offered later in the year as capacity allowed at Sanford Health Fargo.
CUTTING DOWN GYNECOLOGICAL PROCEDURES WAITLIST
Gordon said the province is also working on an agreement with Maples Surgical Centre, and several other local partners to improve women's health. Gordon said there are about 3,000 women are currently waiting for gynecological procedures.
Dr. Peter MacDonald, the chair of the task force's steering committee, said some of the women have been waiting since 2019, and about two-thirds of the cases are eligible for day surgery. He said the task force expects this agreement could accommodate up to 1,000 cases.
SHIFTING COLON CANCER SCREENING PROCESS
Gordon said the province is also shifting how it screens for colon cancer to a diagnostic process called fecal immunochemical testing (FIT). She said FIT screening does not require an endoscopy, and as a result, it will allow for faster screening and will free up more operating room space for other procedures.
"This is a minimally invasive, highly accurate test – much more accurate and specific than the occult fecal blood test," MacDonald said. "This will lessen the backlog for endoscopies, specifically colonoscopies, by up to 10 to 15 per cent."
He said other initiatives are being explored in the endoscopy area and will be announced in the future.
HIRING MORE ANESTHESIA CLINICAL ASSISTANTS
Under the fourth measure, Gordon said the province plans to hire and train up to 13 new anesthesia clinical assistants over the next three years who will be placed in operating rooms across the province.
'Anesthesia services are fundamental to safe and effective surgical procedures," said MacDonald, adding additional anesthesia clinical assistants allow anesthesiologists to delegate and observe care simultaneously for more than one patient.
The province said these new assistants will double the number of anesthesia clinical assistants working in Manitoba.
DOCTORS MANITOBA 'HOPED TO SEE MORE' FROM TASK FORCE
Dr. Kristjan Thompson, the president of Doctors Manitoba, said he is encouraged to see the four measures the task force has highlighted, and said he is looking forward to reviewing specific details.
"Physicians had hoped to see more progress on the massive backlog this month, but we recognize the task force has very few options available right now because of our understaffed and overwhelmed hospitals," Thompson said in a written statement.
"Physicians' top concern is seeing their patients get the tests and treatment they need as quickly as possible, though we would like to see more capacity built here in Manitoba for local physicians to be able to meet the care needs of their patients close to home."
Bob Moroz, President of Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals (MAHCP), said he was encouraged to see the province address staffing, but is concerned diagnostic imaging technologists, rehab professionals, laboratory technologists and many more Allied Health professions are not being prioritized.
"We need a commitment to train and recruit these essential professionals now," he said in a written statement.
"The refusal to make investments in health care by and for Manitobans, and instead sending patients to another country for services that should be available here, is detrimental to Manitobans and the future of health care in this province."
Winnipeg Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
The white gunman accused of massacring 10 Black people in a racist rampage at a Buffalo supermarket planned to keep killing if he had escaped the scene, the police commissioner said Monday, as the possibility of federal hate crime or domestic terror charges loomed.
Pierre Poilievre is denouncing the 'white replacement theory' believed to be a motive for a mass shooting in Buffalo, N.Y., as 'ugly and disgusting hate-mongering.'
A former police officer, the 86-year-old mother of Buffalo's former fire commissioner, and a grandmother who fed the needy for decades were among those killed in a racist attack by a gunman on Saturday in a Buffalo grocery store. Three people were also wounded.
Facing daily instances of violence and abuse, gender diverse people in the Canadian prison system say they are forced to take measures into their own hands to secure their safety.
A racist ideology seeping from the internet's fringes into the mainstream is being investigated as a motivating factor in the supermarket shooting that killed 10 people in Buffalo, New York. Most of the victims were Black.
'Aquaman' actor Amber Heard told jurors in a defamation case on Monday that she filed for divorce from Johnny Depp in 2016 because she worried she would not survive physical abuse by him.
Moscow suffered another diplomatic setback Monday in its war with Ukraine, with Sweden joining Finland in deciding to seek NATO membership, while Ukraine's president congratulated his soldiers who reportedly pushed back Russian forces near the border.
Regina Mayor Sandra Masters met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa on Monday to discuss a number of topics including ongoing infrastructure projects and social initiatives.
The Saskatchewan government has begun work on a foundation report study ramping up development on a potential hydrogen hub in the Regina-Moose Jaw region.
The Sask. government is looking to provide municipalities and park authorities with the discretion to allow alcohol consumption in public places, according to a news release.
The rising cost of fuel is complicating the nearly month-long search for a missing Saskatchewan boy continues.
Saskatoon Police Service says all of the 189 contact interviews conducted by its officers last year complied with policy.
Former Sask. Party MLA turned Independent Nadine Wilson and former federal Minister of Agriculture Gerry Ritz are both involved with the 'Saskatchewan United' movement.
Complaints about people hunting and shooting roaming cows in the area of Old Woman Road, on Highway 17 north of Sault Ste. Marie, were reported by the OPP in tweets late Saturday and early Sunday.
The Alberta man accused of first-degree murder in the deaths of a 24-year-old woman and her 16-month-old child is due in court on Monday.
A jury trial is to begin today for a man and his son who are accused of killing two Métis hunters.
While many hockey fans in Edmonton were glued to the Calgary Flames Game 7 Sunday night, some Oilers players slept through it.
An Ontario landlord who says he's exhausted his savings and credit after his tenants allegedly stopped paying rent six months ago is frustrated he has no power to evict them.
Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk weren't even born the last time the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers met in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but they still understand how much the Battle of Alberta means to fans of both teams.
A summer approaches, travellers hoping to rent a vehicle may find it difficult to find an affordable option – not just in Alberta, but right across Canada.
The mayors of Calgary and Edmonton are throwing their support behind their respective home teams ahead of the long awaited return of a playoff version of the storied Battle of Alberta.
Quebec coroner calls for independence in public health director role in final report on long-term care home deaths
The government of Quebec needs to ensure the role of the public health director is independent and without any 'political constraint,' a Quebec coroner has recommended in a final report into deaths at long-term care homes during the pandemic's first wave.
Quebec should aim to welcome 100,000 immigrants per year, according to the Conseil du patronat (CPQ).
Montreal commuters woke up to spiking gas prices as some stations' price for regular is currently a record high and over $2.15-per-litre.
The Canada Day main stage will be at LeBreton Flats park just west of downtown Ottawa this year, not on Parliament Hill.
The Terry Fox statue across from Parliament Hill will need to be moved to make way for a new building to house MPs and senators, committee rooms and an Indigenous Peoples' space.
WATCH LIVE | Storms could bring up to 50 mm of rain in Ottawa
It will be a rainy day in the capital on Monday with a risk of a thunderstorm later today.
The RCMP's treatment of their tactical team in the days following the April 2020 mass shooting in Nova Scotia was characterized as "absolutely disgusting" Monday during testimony before the public inquiry examining the killings.
A jury of three women and two men has been chosen in the coroner's inquest into the death of Chantel Moore -- a 26-year-old Indigenous woman fatally shot during a wellness check by police in Edmundston, N.B.
The emergency department at the Glace Bay Hospital has been closed since July of 2021, and it’s unclear when it will reopen.
The Waterloo Regional Police Service has released the name of a man they say could have information on the suspicious death of an eight-year-old boy in Cambridge.
Tanti, 27, was stabbed during a confrontation outside a downtown Guelph bar on MacDonell Street around 2 a.m. on February 29, 2020.
The leaders of Ontario's largest political parties will participate in a live debate Monday night, and for the first time in history, the Green Party will also be on the stage.
B.C. resident facing charges for allegedly feeding bears, coyotes for 'months': conservation officers
A Lower Mainland resident could face charges for allegedly feeding bears and coyotes in West Vancouver, provincial conservation officers say.
Multiple travellers seeking refunds for trips cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic recently had their complaints dismissed by a B.C. tribunal.
People in Metro Vancouver are being told to brace for strong winds and heavy rain starting Tuesday evening.
BC Ferries is planning to add 110 extra sailings to its schedule over what is expected to be a busy May long weekend.
One of Canada's most successful Second World War flying aces, James "Stocky" Edwards of Comox, B.C., has died at the age of 100.
Victoria police say they arrested six youths on Friday night and two on Saturday amid a crackdown in the city's downtown core.