News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

March 6, 2019


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Amendments Will Improve Delivery of Health Services for Manitobans: Friesen

The Manitoba government is introducing amendments to The Regional Health Authorities Act and other legislation that would guide the successful implementation of the province’s health system transformation, Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen announced today.

“The transformation of our health-care system is succeeding in driving down wait times and improving patient outcomes,” said Friesen.  “Amendments to The Regional Health Authorities Act will amend legislation to support our plan for a more patient-focused, sustainable and better organized health system that gets improved outcomes for patients.”

The amendments would provide the necessary legislative framework to support health system transformation.  Manitoba’s regional health authorities, Shared Health, CancerCare Manitoba and organizations involved in the delivery and administration of health care would be aligned and integrated with the goals of the transformation under the amended act, the minister said.

A blueprint to guide the phased implementation of health system transformation was previously released to the public.  Changes to the roles of organizations involved in the delivery and administration of health care are foundational to the success of the overall transformation.

The Department of Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living would focus on policy, planning, funding and oversight, shifting the remaining health-care delivery services out of government.  Shared Health would lead provincial planning and integration of clinical and preventive services, and provide co-ordinated support to regional health authorities and other health service delivery organizations.  The regional health authorities and CancerCare Manitoba would continue to provide front-line health-care services.

As part of the transformation process, the operations of Health Sciences Centre Winnipeg and Selkirk Mental Health Centre would transfer to Shared Health, as well as certain mental health program services from the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.  These changes will begin in April 2019 and continue over the next two to three years.  The minister noted no employment changes are expected through this transition process.

In addition, as recommended in the VIRGO report, the proposed legislation would transfer the operations of the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba to Shared Health on a date to be set by proclamation.  It is planned that this transfer will occur in the next two years, the minister noted.  These changes would enable the integrated planning, delivery and performance measurement of a mental health and addictions service in Shared Health. 

The amendments would also designate CancerCare Manitoba as the province’s cancer authority with responsibilities, duties and authority under the act.  The organization would be further integrated into the health system governance structure through these proposed changes and continue to deliver vital health services to Manitobans.

“Other jurisdictions in Canada and across the world have achieved significant improvements to patient care and system sustainability by implementing similar changes that realign the system with the actual health needs of the population,” said Friesen.  “These changes will simplify the system, allowing for increased focus on the delivery of service across the province and consistent standards of care for all Manitobans.”

All available evidence has demonstrated the province’s health-care system is overly complex and expensive when compared to other jurisdictions and doesn’t get the results Manitobans expect, said Friesen.

“Better-planned services will mean improved access to consistent, reliable, quality health-care services right across the province, and these changes will help us move forward as we work together to achieve that goal,” the minister said.  “There is an increasing amount of evidence that we are repairing the services and providing better health care sooner for Manitobans.”

For more information on health system transformation, visit

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