Currently, more than 90 per cent of Manitoba municipalities are reporting doctor shortages while nearly 95 per cent are allocating financial resources to recruit and retain health practitioners in local communities.
In fact, last year municipalities spent more than $1 million on recruitment and retention efforts even though more doctors are graduating in Canada than ever before.
Manitoba consistently has one of the lowest physician-to-population ratios when compared to other provinces and territories. While there is no single solution to this complex problem, the AMM welcomes the new provincial government’s commitment to establish a Physician Recruitment and Retention program for local communities throughout Manitoba.
The AMM requests to be consulted on the development of this program to help ensure practical solutions are offered to local communities.
The AMM also appreciates serving on the Rural Physician Recruitment Advisory Committee and expects concrete recommendations to be presented to the Minister by fall 2016.
However, the AMM believes the Province of Manitoba should take immediate steps to review and harmonize Manitoba’s physician licensing requirements with other jurisdictions across Canada to improve Manitoba’s competitiveness.
The Province should also continue to pursue innovative strategies to support gains that have already been made, and fully implement all the recommendations from the Brandon Medical Education Study to help address the shortage of physicians and physician assistants throughout Manitoba.