The Manitoba government has established a Wait Time Reduction Task Force with two committees to examine and address waits for emergency care and priority procedures such as surgeries and diagnostic tests, Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Kelvin Goertzen announced today.
“We know there is much work to be done to address wait times in emergency departments, particularly in Winnipeg, as well as wait times for surgeries and diagnostic procedures,” said Goertzen. “These individuals bring a wealth of front-line expertise to help us look at different ways of working to make real changes across the system.”
Dr. John Ross of Nova Scotia and Dr. Alecs Chochinov of Winnipeg will co-lead the emergency department wait times committee of the Wait Time Reduction Task Force. Dr. Jack McPherson of Winnipeg and Dr. Michael Rachlis of Toronto will co-lead the priority procedures wait times committee, which will focus on waits for cataract surgery, hip and knee replacement surgeries, and MRI scans and consider other procedures in surgery, ophthalmology or diagnostic imaging.
“By dividing the two key areas, we’re better able to have the right subject matter experts focus on their skill sets and give us the most effective advice,” said Goertzen. “We remain committed to this work and finding the best ways to improve our system in the long term.”
The committee members will include urban and rural physicians and nurses, as well as other health professionals. The committees will consult widely with health-care professionals and the public, the minister noted, adding the committee reports to government are expected back by June 30, 2017.
Two members of the public will also be part of each committee. The province is seeking applications from those interested in working on the review and the development of recommendations for system change.
A Wait Time Reduction Task Force Steering Committee will provide oversight to both the emergency department and priority procedures subcommittee. The steering committee chair will be named at a later date, the minister said.
“People across the province are affected by wait times for care,” said Goertzen. “We want to make sure the public is also a part of this process to make sure we’re capturing ideas from as many different perspectives as possible.”