News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

May 2, 2019


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Dr. David Peachey Re-engaging with Clinical Leaders to Review Winnipeg Regional Health Authority's Planned Health System Changes: Friesen

The Manitoba government has invited Dr. David Peachey to conduct a quality assurance assessment of the second phase of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority’s (WRHA) clinical consolidation plan, Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen announced today.

“Our plan to modernize our health-care system and improve outcomes for patients is working,” said Friesen.  “We have re-engaged the original architect of the original blueprint for health system change to return to Manitoba to conduct quality assurance.  Dr. Peachey will refresh the work and determine what areas are progressing well and whether any require additional supports.”

Regular assessments of planned clinical changes are routine in many jurisdictions across Canada and help to build a stronger health-care system with better patient care and outcomes, the minister noted.

Peachey began meeting with clinical leaders throughout the region last week to assess the progress of consolidation plans across the Winnipeg health region including impending changes at Concordia Hospital.  Peachey will complete interviews with clinical leaders next week.

“Our confidence in the overall plan remains strong, even as we are continuing to closely monitor transition plans at Concordia Hospital,” said Friesen.  “Before moving forward, we must ensure that all conditions at Concordia are appropriate to facilitate a smooth transition of services, with the proper attention paid to patient safety, the stability of the health-care system and health-provider continuity.”

The WRHA’s Healing the Health System plan has seen significant success in a variety of areas since its introduction in April 2017 including:
•    a 17 per cent improvement in emergency wait times, as compared to the three-year period that preceded it;
•    a historic low in waits for personal care home placement in Winnipeg;
•    improved patient care from consolidating mental health services in three hospitals (HSC Winnipeg, St. Boniface Hospital and a newly developed $7.7-million department at Victoria Hospital), which has allowed for an additional 14 mental health beds to open;
•    the consolidation of surgical units in fewer facilities (HSC Winnipeg, St. Boniface, Grace and Concordia hospitals), improving the efficiency of care delivery and patient safety; and
•    development of a more integrated community intravenous program at Misericordia Health Centre, where patients now have access to a larger and more diverse inter-professional team by locating it all in one facility.

Peachey and his firm, Health Intelligence Inc., was contracted by the former NDP government in 2015.  His report, Clinical and Preventive Services Planning for Manitoba, was presented to the current government in early 2017.  The report cited Manitoba’s historic challenges in improving wait times and provided a blueprint for an improved system based on patient care and wait-time successes in jurisdictions that had consolidated emergency department services in fewer facilities.

“I am pleased to have the opportunity to review Phase Two in the context of evidence-based decision-making and patient-centered care,” said Peachey.

Shared Health and the WRHA are working in collaboration to ensure Peachey speaks with clinical leadership and staff that are involved in the implementation of the transformation plan.  Shared Health leadership will also study ways Peachey’s findings could be incorporated into the provincial clinical and preventive service plan currently being developed by hundreds of Manitoba’s clinical and health-system leaders.

“Patients are, and will remain, at the centre of our development of a clinical and preventive services plan for the province,” said Friesen.  “Clinical planning of acute care services, including the WRHA’s plans for clinical consolidation, are an important piece of broader efforts to improve services for Manitobans and establish modernized and consistent standards of care across the province.”

An update on preliminary findings will be provided to government at the end of next week, to be followed by a formal report shortly thereafter, the minister added.

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