News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

September 25, 2019


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Provincewide Health Human Resource Planning Starting to See Results: Friesen

A new report shows annual increases in the number of physicians practising in Manitoba continued to trend near 10-year highs, signalling the province’s efforts to retain and recruit physicians are working, Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen said today.

“There are 158 more doctors working in Manitoba today than there were only two years ago.  This number represents the largest 24-month increase in physician retention and recruitment in at least a decade,” said Friesen.  “These numbers reflect our government’s commitment to improving patient care while investing in new programs that help encourage physicians to remain in Manitoba when their training is complete.”

According to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba’s latest annual report, there were 2,982 licensed medical practitioners working in Manitoba as of April 30, 2019.  This represents a net increase of 80 in the past year, which is slightly above the net increase recorded in 2018 of 78 and is just under the 10-year high of 83.

Since 2016, Manitoba has seen a net increase of 214 physicians including 74 outside of Winnipeg.

Friesen said that number will continue to grow in the coming years, thanks in part to the development of a rural residency program through the University of Manitoba’s Rady faculty of health sciences.  The program allows medical residents to learn more about rural medicine and includes training in a number of practice areas, allowing physicians to better respond to the needs of Manitoba communities.

“The Max Rady College of Medicine is committed to being more diverse and inclusive of all members of our province,” said Dr. Brian Postl, dean, Max Rady College of Medicine and dean, Rady faculty of health sciences.  “By offering distributed medical education and residency sites, we are better reflecting the communities we serve and this will improve health care across Manitoba, especially to our most underserved patients.”

The Northern Regional Health Authority is the latest to adopt the rural residency program, following successes in the Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority, Southern Health-Santé Sud and Prairie Mountain Health.  The U of M also offers a northern remote residency program that serves communities in northern Manitoba, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

“We have been working with the University of Manitoba to establish this program as a strategy for local education and to increase the number of northern trained physicians in the northern health region,” said Helga Bryant, chief executive officer for the NRHA.  “We are pleased to see that there is now evidence that this collaboration is seeing positive results, and we’ll continue this work to achieve our mission of providing quality, accessible and compassionate health services to our residents.”

The new report on physician numbers comes a month after a new master agreement was reached with Doctors Manitoba.  The agreement supports Manitoba’s efforts to maintain reasonable costs in the health system while introducing ways for the government, health leadership and physicians to work together to address shared interests in the delivery of health services, said Friesen.

The agreement sets out the creation of a governance committee through which the Manitoba government, Doctors Manitoba and the health system will work collaboratively.  The committee will provide advice and consensus decisions in a number of areas including modernization of the Physician’s Manual and schedule of alternate funding agreements, engagement of physicians in implementation of the provincial clinical and preventative services plan, mental health and addictions services and compensation models, and consistency in medical staff bylaws/privileging processes.

“By working together, we will be better able to build a more modern system that ensures quality and comprehensive services right across the province,” Friesen said.  “We will continue to increase the number of physicians who choose to live and practise in Manitoba by investing in physician recruitment, working collaboratively with physicians and supporting new training opportunities.”

To view the physician statistics report, visit

For more information on the family medicine residency program at the University of Manitoba, visit:

For more information on physician recruitment in Manitoba, visit

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