A special stakeholder Summit was held today in Portage la Prairie, organized by Doctors Manitoba and the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce. The Summit focused on assessing the rural and Northern Manitoba physician shortage and potential solutions to attracting and retaining more doctors. Over 100 participants registered to attend, including physicians and leaders from health care, business and local communities.

“Health care system investment is a top priority among our members, and research shows that communities’ economic potential is supported by strong services,” said Chuck Davidson, President and CEO of the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce. I was encouraged by today’s discussion at the Summit, which included physicians, community and business leaders who care deeply that we all have access to efficient, quality care across the province. Manitoba’s ability to recruit and retain more doctors is essential to our future growth.”

​“The chronic shortage of physicians is impacting the care Manitobans rely on,” explained Dr. Candace Bradshaw, President of Doctors Manitoba. “Every day, thousands of Manitobans are affected by a record number of ER closures, difficulty finding a family doctor, and long waits to get a test or surgery. Today’s Summit is offering hope, with many promising ideas to attract and retain more physicians from such a diverse group of partners and experts.”

Further consultations are planned over the next few weeks to validate the results with Summit participants, as well as with broader medical and economic development professionals. The goal is to refine the promising practices into a final report with recommendations to recruit and retain more physicians. The report should be available by the end of October. It will be shared with the provincial government for consideration and made available for public review. 

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