Twenty-two new primary care physicians have been recruited and are starting to work in communities across the Prairie Mountain Health region, Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Kelvin Goertzen announced today.
“Prairie Mountain Health has been working to recruit physicians to communities across the region and their hard work is paying off,” said Goertzen. “This accomplishment will certainly benefit residents of western Manitoba and help ensure consistent, reliable care for families.”
Primary care refers to that early contact with the health-care system when patients and their families receive a diagnosis, treatment or help with a new health problem or chronic condition. Services can also include speaking with a health-care provider about staying healthy and preventing illness.
“We have remained relentless in our efforts to continue to recruit physicians to the region and those efforts have paid off this year,” said Penny Gilson, chief executive officer, Prairie Mountain Health. “We want to acknowledge this is a collective effort and thank the health department, the Manitoba Healthcare Providers Network, the University of Manitoba, the International Medical Graduate training program, the Association of Manitoba Municipalities and physicians who provide mentorship and support to new recruits, and to the communities who are key partners in ongoing recruitment and retention efforts.”
Continuing recruitment efforts by the region have brought six physicians to Swan River, two to Deloraine, two to Brandon, two to Dauphin, one to Grandview and one to Neepawa. In addition, eight international medical graduates will be practising in Killarney, Roblin, Shoal Lake, Winnipegosis, Virden, Minnedosa, Souris and Glenboro.
“My decision to practice in Neepawa was based on the broad scope of practice available in the area – acute care, office care, obstetrical care, and geriatric health,” said Dr. Kristen Wareham, a new physician practicing in Neepawa. “This is all supported by the town and surrounding communities and a well-established, experienced and supportive physician group, and I look forward to beginning my career here.”
The region has also successfully recruited several specialists in the areas of cardiology, radiology, psychiatry, orthopedics, pediatrics and geriatrics over the course of the past 12 months. A general surgeon has recently started practising in Dauphin, with another scheduled to begin full-time practice in Brandon.
“The region is continuing to work with communities to promote rural living and with stakeholders such as the University of Manitoba and the Office of Rural and Northern Health to promote careers in rural health care,” said Goertzen. “This combination of efforts helps connect physicians with rural communities where they will stay to build their careers and provide quality care to area residents.”
The minister noted that ongoing physician recruitment and retention efforts will be a key priority of clinical service planning that will be undertaken by Shared Health Services Manitoba. This work will support consistent and reliable health-care services, effective health human resource planning, capital equipment investments, construction planning and other initiatives that should be co-ordinated provincewide.
For more information on primary care in Manitoba, visit: www.gov.mb.ca/health/primarycare/public/index.html.