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An additional 16 physicians have been recruited to work in the Southern Health-Santé Sud health region, Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Kelvin Goertzen announced today.

Through the dedicated and comprehensive recruitment efforts of Southern Health-Santé Sud, Manitobans throughout the region will soon be able to seek quality care from a family physician,” said Goertzen.  “This is going to support better health outcomes, ensure more timely access to care for patients, and aligns with our government’s broader goals of health-care system improvements and reform.”

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.

Nine family physicians have been recruited to work in communities across the region including Steinbach (three), Carman (two), Ste. Anne (one), St. Claude/Notre Dame de Lourdes (one), Portage la Prairie (one) and Gladstone (one).

“As is the reality with recruitment and retention of all health-care professions, many physician positions have been successfully filled acknowledging the focused commitment from many partners,” said Jane Curtis, chief executive officer, Southern Health-Santé Sud.  “We are grateful to the community, regional and provincial leaders for their collaboration in supporting a number of initiatives encouraging many physicians to consider the healthy work-life balance of rural practice in Southern Health-Santé Sud.” 

In addition, seven specialists are also working in the region including two family physicians anesthetists in Winkler and Steinbach, three hospitalists in Steinbach, a general surgeon in Winkler and an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist in Portage la Prairie.

“Rural communities have been stepping up to work with key stakeholders such as the Max Rady College of Medicine at the University of Manitoba, Manitoba’s Office of Rural and Northern Health, the Manitoba Healthcare Providers Network and the College of Physicians and Surgeons to promote careers in rural health care,” said Goertzen.  “This type of partnership allows physicians to learn more about the opportunities in these communities to practise medicine while enjoying a rural lifestyle and helps them make the decision to build their careers in Manitoba.” 

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:

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