Archived News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

October 17, 2014

Statement from Health Minister Erin Selby on Manitoba's Ongoing Efforts, Preparation Regarding the Ebola Virus

I know Manitobans are nervous.  People are nervous here, right across the country and across the globe.  We have been advised by the Public Health Agency of Canada that an overall risk in Canada of the Ebola virus is extremely low; however, we need to stay vigilant.

This morning I had a phone call with public health officials and chief executive officers all of the regional health authorities throughout the province.  I reinforced my personal commitment the RHAs have Manitoba Health’s full support.  I wanted to hear their concerns and those of their front-line staff.  We know there are front-line staff who may be involved in direct care and others who are not expected to participate in the response at that level.  But we are hearing, that regardless of the role that staff are expected to play, they need to be fully informed of the planning and protocols.  I also wanted to know what we can further do to support them. 

We have been and will continue to work with our regional health authorities and health providers to make sure everyone has the equipment and training they need to be safe and care for those who are sick. I reiterated to the RHAs that if anyone doesn’t feel they are getting the right supports or information, I encourage them to speak up.  We want to hear from them and help them to feel ready.

I have also directed the RHAs to designate one person from every region to be the point person that front-line staff can go to with their concerns or questions.

Yesterday, I spoke with Sandi Mowat from the Manitoba Nurses Union and heard her concerns.  I committed to help to find additional ways to help nurses get the information they need to help patients.  Other unions will begin a series of meetings next week with RHAs to facilitate information sharing.

I am in daily contact with the chief provincial public health officer, Dr. Michael Routledge and he and his team are keeping me apprised on Ebola virus preparations and protocols in Manitoba.  In addition, Dr. Routledge and his provincial counterparts from across Canada have weekly conference calls to discuss preparation in the provinces and assessment of the Ebola virus situation throughout the world.

Everyone is working hard to prepare as the global situation evolves and I would like to thank all of our front-line workers for their commitment, dedication and selflessness they show every day.  Together we will we remain vigilant.

- 30 -