News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

September 14, 2022

MANITOBA GOVERNMENT INVESTING OVER $482,000 TO INCREASE TRAINING SEATS BY 20 PER CENT IN UNIVERSITY OF MANITOBA'S RESPIRATORY THERAPY PROGRAM

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Strengthening Health-Care System Remains a Key Priority: Gordon, Reyes

The Manitoba government is investing over $482,000 to increase training seats by 20 per cent to the University of Manitoba’s (UM) Respiratory Therapy program to help sustainably increase the number of respiratory therapists working in the province, Health Minister Audrey Gordon and Advanced Education, Skills and Immigration Minister Jon Reyes announced today.

“Our government is committed to strengthening our health-care system, now and for years to come,” said Gordon. “Investing in training additional respiratory therapists who play an important role on a health-care team and increasing capacity in the program by 20 per cent represents our ongoing effort to build our province’s health-care human resource capacity.”

“Our government’s comprehensive action plan continues to effectively address labour market shortages in the health-care system that were magnified by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Reyes. “This investment, along with the valued partnership of UM, is another positive step in that direction.”

Funding will add four additional seats, beginning this month, for a total of 20 seats in UM’s three-year bachelor of respiratory therapy .This investment will help offset the operating costs of the four new seats and necessary equipment and renovations to both support expansion this fall and lay the groundwork for further expansion, the ministers noted.

Respiratory therapists are health-care professionals who provide a wide range of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures to patients requiring basic and complex cardiopulmonary services. They work as part of inter-professional teams in areas that include intensive care units, patient transport teams, emergency rooms and rehabilitation settings.

“Increasing the number of respiratory therapy students in the College of Rehabilitation Sciences by four is vital for our province’s health-care teams,” said Dr. Peter Nickerson, vice-provost (health sciences) and dean, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, UM. “It has become abundantly clear over the past two-and-a-half years, the need for more human resources and for supporting the expansion of RT education and training at UM. Thank you to the Manitoba government for the taking this step.”

The Respiratory Therapy program expansion builds on commitments made in Budget 2022 to strengthen the health-care system by providing more capacity to respond to a crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic, to staff new and updated intensive care units and hospitals, and contribute to efforts to reduce surgical wait times. It also aligns with the province’s Skills, Talent and Knowledge Strategy by ensuring individuals gain skills and competencies needed to meet provincial workforce needs.

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