Right Care. Right Time. Right Place.
 

Frequently Asked Questions


  1. 1. Why are these changes being made?

    Manitoba families deserve to have access to the right care, at the right time, in the right place. That's why the Manitoba government and the regional health authorities are making significant changes to improve health care service delivery in Manitoba.

  2. 2. What is the purpose of a provincial health organization?

    Shared Health Services Manitoba is being created to provide centralized clinical and business services for the regional health authorities. The changes will ensure better coordinated care for Manitobans, and help ensure that clinical expertise is available province-wide.

    They will reduce duplication while making sure each region is able to provide health care services with the guidance of a provincial clinical services plan, something in existence in other jurisdictions and essential to effective health system planning. It will also make sure that services provided centrally are consistent right across the province.

  3. 3. How much will this cost?

    Detailed planning is underway and will continue over the next few months, including planning for costs associated with the creation of the provincial health organization and reducing the scope of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. It is expected that changes will be funded through existing budgets. As this work continues, we will share more information.

  4. 4. Who will Shared Health Services Manitoba report to?

    Shared Health Services Manitoba will be operated by a board of directors with representation from Winnipeg as well as rural and northern Manitoba. Health, Seniors and Active Living will continue to take the lead on policy development, funding, performance monitoring and the oversight and accountability of the regions and the provincial health organization.

  5. 5. How many people will be employed by Shared Health Services Manitoba?

    Detailed planning is underway and will continue over the next several months. As this work continues and transition details are finalized, we will share more information.

  6. 6. I work in the Health, Seniors and Active Living department or with a regional health authority. How will my job be affected? Will I have to move to keep my job?

    Detailed planning is underway and will continue over the next several months. As work progresses, we will be working with staff and the unions to develop plans around staffing and the effects of planned changes.

  7. 7. Where will Shared Health Services Manitoba be located? Are all jobs being centralized in Winnipeg?

    The central location of the new organization is expected to be in Winnipeg. However, we are committed to ensuring as many functions as possible within the organization remain located in rural communities, with staff able to work remotely while reporting to a central organization.

    Detailed planning is underway and will continue over the next several months. As this work continues and details are finalized, we will share more information.

  8. 8. Will any new positions be created?

    Detailed planning is underway and will continue over the next several months. As this work continues and details are finalized, we will share more information.

  9. 9. Isn't this creating another level of bureaucracy?

    The provincial health organization will reduce duplication while making sure each region is able to access the support they need to provide health care services. Shared Health Services Manitoba will repurpose the existing corporate shell of Diagnostic Services Manitoba (DSM), meaning no net increase in organizations within the health care system. It will also make sure that services provided centrally are coordinated and consistent. Planning will be focused on the patient, and will lead to reduced duplication of services.

  10. 10. Do you anticipate job losses? How many?

    We know this work will reduce duplication in the regional health authorities and in the department, however, as detailed planning is ongoing, that information is not yet finalized. As work continues, we will be working with staff and the unions to develop plans around staffing.

  11. 11. Why are you removing resources from the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority during a time of significant transformation?

    The Manitoba government is looking at ways to strengthen our health care system and make sure it is operated efficiently, focused on patients and is affordable in the long term. The creation of Shared Health Services Manitoba will support the work of the Winnipeg region which will be able to focus exclusively on the implementation of its plan to improve services.

  12. 12. Do you anticipate any savings by centralizing services?

    The provincial health organization will reduce duplication while making sure each region is able to access the support they need to provide health care services. KPMG proposed a provincial structure that will result in cost improvements and efficiencies in implemented shared services as well as operating cost improvements from consolidation of management and administrative functions. It is expected this will result in savings across the province as services are brought together.

  13. 13. How soon with Shared Health Services Manitoba be established?

    Detailed planning is ongoing and we expect the organization to be operational by the beginning of the 2018-19 fiscal year.

  14. 14. Once Shared Health Services Manitoba exists, what will be the mandate of the regions?

    The regional health authorities will continue to deliver effective, reliable and responsive health care services in communities throughout their regions.

  15. 15. What is the relationship between the provincial health organization and the Transformation Management Office?

    The provincial health organization will allow for centralized and strategic clinic planning and coordination of the services that should be managed province-wide as well as the development of a provincial health human resources plan. The Transformation Management Office will support Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living in the management of the significant realignment of Manitoba's overall health system and governance model.

  16. 16. What about other corporations like CancerCare Manitoba?

    CancerCare Manitoba is already a centralized organization, and there are no plans at this time to adjust the work of the organization.

  17. 17. How do people know which hospital to go to if they need help?

    If your illness or injury is life threatening, call 911. Paramedics will provide care as they take you to an emergency department. You can also access care from your primary health care provider for less urgent health issues.

  18. 18. Why call 911? Won't it be faster if I drive?

    Paramedics are trained and ambulances are equipped to provide vital health treatment as soon as they arrive and during transit - so in a life-threatening emergency, it is always best to call 911. For illnesses like strokes and heart attacks, this treatment can make a big difference.

  19. 19. Why aren't regions recruiting more doctors and other health care professionals?

    As in many other jurisdictions, regional health authorities in Manitoba face a number of challenges when recruiting health care professionals to rural communities. Studies have shown some reasons include a heavier workload with a large number of patients to see and patients who require more care, difficulty taking time off and maintaining a work-life balance, fewer opportunities for continuing education, professional isolation, limited job opportunities for spouses and even a lack of afterschool programs and daycare for their children.

    Regions continue their work to recruit and retain physicians and other health professionals in rural communities. However, changes need to be made now to ensure safe, quality care for Manitobans in rural communities while using their resources most efficiently and effectively.

  20. 20. Ambulance costs are high in my region. What if I can't afford to call an ambulance?

    Costs for transportation by ambulance are not insured by provinces, including Manitoba. These costs are the responsibility of the patient, whether a resident of Manitoba or elsewhere.

    Insurance can provide coverage for ambulance fees and can be affordable, even for those on a fixed income. In addition, a commitment has been made to reduce current average fees by 50 per cent by 2020. To date, fees have been reduced from an average of $500 to $425, which is 30 per cent towards goal of reducing fees by half.

  21. 21. Why is the province closing EMS stations?

    Some sites have difficulty retaining enough staff to provide services and many rural EMS stations are staffed part time, with staff on-call or called back to provide care outside of regular hours. This increases response times and costs, as staff first have to return to the station and then go out on the call. Other sites receive very low volumes of calls, which is not an efficient use of resources.

    A review of ambulances services in 2013 recommended the relocation or restructuring of a number of station locations across southern Manitoba. This will allow us to better locate the services and match resources with actual call volumes to achieve response time standards.

  22. 22. Won't this make response times longer?

    Staffing the remaining and new stations 24 hours a day, seven days a week will allow a more rapid response to emergency calls than is possible with a reliance on on-call or call back staff.

    The approved response time standard in Manitoba is a response of no more than 30 minutes for 90 per cent of the population, 90 per cent of the time. In 2015/16, 95.52 per cent of calls south of the 53rd parallel met this standard during daytime hours and 94.67 per cent during night time hours.

  23. 23. If response times are meeting the standards 95 per cent of the time, why are changes being made?

    There is still more that can be done to improve services. Some sites are only open for limited hours, which means staff are only at the ambulance station for part of the time. This means that if a call is received outside of regular hours, on-call or standby staff have to return to the station before going out on the call. This increases response times and costs, and is not an efficient way to provide services.

  24. 24. Will the province need to hire more paramedics to provide 24/7 services?

    Additional planning is underway and will continue over the next several months to ensure that all staffing needs are planned for and identified.

    The province is already investing more than $1.7 million for enhanced paramedic staffing across three regional health authorities. The new 29.2 full-time equivalent, primary care paramedic positions will be located in Arborg, Ashern, Glenboro, Waterhen, Gladstone/Kinosota, Carman, and Morris. Four positions have already been filled with highly skilled candidates while hiring for the remaining positions will begin immediately.

  25. 25. What happens if the ambulance closest to my community is out on a call? Won't the response times be longer if it has to travel from further away to reach me?

    When an ambulance is on a call, resources are shifted to ensure the ambulance can respond quickly when needed.

    For example: Community A and Community B both have ambulance stations. When an ambulance in Community B is sent out on a call, the ambulance from Community A can be sent to a point in between the two communities. This ensures both communities have ambulance coverage in case a second call is received.

    This work already happens in rural Manitoba to ensure coverage is available when people need it most. This is known as `flexible dispatch'.

  26. 26. When are the changes going to be made?

    Changes will be made gradually over the next few years. This will give us time to ensure new stations are built and 24/7 services are in place before stations are closed.

  27. 27. I'm a paramedic. What does this mean for my job?

    Detailed planning is underway and will continue over the next several months. As work progresses, we will be working with staff and the unions to develop plans around staffing and the effects of planned changes. As this work continues and transition details are finalized, we will share more information.

  28. 28. I am a paramedic and often work on-call or standby shifts. How will these changes affect my work?

    Detailed planning is underway and will continue over the next several months. As work progresses, we will be working with staff and the unions to develop plans around staffing and the effects of planned changes. As this work continues and transition details are finalized, we will share more information.

  29. 29. Won't it just be faster to just drive myself to the nearest hospital?

    Paramedics provide a high level of care from the moment they reach a patient until they get to a health care facility. The fastest way to get help for a medical emergency is to call 911. For communities without 911 service, the front of the local phone book will list emergency numbers.