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Manitoba reimbursing doctors for licensing fees

The Manitoba government is taking steps to keep doctors in the province by giving them some relief on their licensing fees, but some still believe more needs to be done.

On Thursday, the province announced it is investing more than $13 million into the reimbursement of physician licensing fees over the next two years. The reimbursement is part of a package of incentives and workplace improvements aimed at physician retention.

“We are listening to frontline health-care experts and we are investing over $13 million to reimburse required annual licensing fees for physicians practicing in Manitoba,” Health Minister Audrey Gordon said on Thursday.

Gordon announced the government is also investing $350,000 to provide Manitoba doctors with a secure messaging platform called Cortext. This platform makes real-time collaboration easier, allowing doctors and care team members to make quicker diagnostic and treatment decisions.

Physicians will start being able to use Cortext beginning in May.

Both of these new initiatives are part of the government’s Health Human Resource Action plan.

“These supports are part of our government’s commitment to retain physicians, create a more balanced work environment and make Manitoba a more competitive place to practice,” Gordon said.

In response to these measures, Uzoma Asagwara, the NDP’s health critic, said the government is not fulfilling any plan to retain and recruit doctors.

“Manitoba is in a very dire situation unfortunately when it comes to physician capacity in our province,” Asagwara said.

“We have a massive shortage of doctors across our province and that is a direct result of this government since 2016 refusing to take the necessary measures to retain the physicians that we have and recruit more doctors to our border here in Manitoba.”

In a statement, Dr. Candace Bradshaw, president of Doctors Manitoba, said these supports are part of a larger group of initiatives that will hopefully keep more doctors in the province. She noted the recent data shows 51 per cent of physicians are considering retiring, leaving the province or reducing clinical hours.

“We are now looking for the government to fulfill the last piece of their Action Plan for doctors, and that’s a practice stabilization support payment which has tremendous potential to retain the doctors we have and recruit more to Manitoba,” the statement said.

“Other provinces have made similar moves, and we want to ensure Manitoba isn’t an outlier in the middle of an international physician shortage.”

More information on the Health Human Resource Action Plan can be found online. Top Stories

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