Manitoba ends surgical recovery task force, redirects funds to other health-care projects

Work done by the provincial Diagnostic and Surgical Recovery Task Force is coming to a close, as the new Manitoba government reassesses where its public health-care investments will go.

In a press release Friday, the province said shuttering the task force would help to redirect funding toward other public health-care projects that remain focused on surgeries and diagnostics.

Investments by the province, Health Minister Uzoma Asagwara said, will focus on developing long-term capacity for the surgical needs of Manitobans along with addressing surgical and diagnostic wait times.

Projects included in such investments are:

  • A mobile MRI service that will be deployed in the Northern Regional Health Authority.
  • An expansion of surgical slates at the Grace Hospital.
  • The expansion of spinal surgery programs at Brandon Regional Health Centre, Concordia Hospital and the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg.

Asagwara said cutting back on the task force would go hand in hand with improving health care for residents.

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“We have heard loud and clear from patients and frontline health-care staff that it’s time to deliver care here,” the minister said. “As we wind down the task force, we will increase surgical and diagnostic capacity here in the province to reduce wait times for Manitobans.”

Asagwara added that the management of the task force will be handled by Shared Health. During the transition, the release said, patients will continue receiving treatments as scheduled and without any delay.

“No one will be left behind. We want Manitobans to know that while we are dissolving the (task force), we will be working more directly with health-care leaders across the province to ensure continued innovation and investment in capacity here in Manitoba,” Asagwara said.

The Diagnostic and Surgical Recovery Task Force was established in December 2021 as a way for the province to address long wait times and other undue stress that came from the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the province’s site, the task force’s role was to identify and implement “short and long-term solutions to reduce surgical and diagnostic waitlists, shorten wait times for patients and build capacity for long-term health-care system resilience.”

Click to play video: 'Manitoba surgical backlog update'

Manitoba surgical backlog update

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