Manitoba’s Wait Times Reduction Task Force has provided it’s final report to the provincial government.
The Task Force was established in 2016 by Health Minister Kelvin Goertzen, to examine and address wait times for emergency care and priority procedures, ranging from hip and knee replacement surgery to diagnostic tests.
The 384 page document features recommendations to improve wait times and other areas of health care in the province.
It follows consultations with medical professionals, residents and First Nations groups.
Some of the recommendations include:
–address ongoing challenges related to physician burnout, recruitment and retention and ED suspensions;
–expand Telehealth opportunities for rural and northern patients as a means to reduce inter-facility transfers by offering appropriate services to Manitobans closer to home;
–improve co-ordination of land and air emergency medical services (EMS);
–implement rapid assessment zones, a dedicated space where patients are quickly assessed pending tests and/or reassessment;
–develop more proactive mental health-care services to reduce reliance on emergency departments;
–implement protocols to allow paramedics to bypass local facilities for conditions such as trauma, acute stroke or obstetrical emergencies requiring specialized care at larger, urban sites;
–develop and use diagnostic testing protocols in all regions;
–develop a provincial central intake process for certain services to improve access, reduce wait times and analyze the true capacity of the system by using existing resources and people more efficiently.
The report in its entirety can be found online at www.gov.mb.ca/health/wtrtf.html.