News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

January 12, 2016

PROVINCE ANNOUNCES MORE TELEHEALTH SITES TO SERVE RURAL MANITOBA RESIDENTS



In its continued efforts to provide specialized clinical services closer to home for all Manitobans, the province is expanding the MBTelehealth program to 16 additional locations in rural communities, Health Minister Sharon Blady announced today.

“The province always strives to find innovative solutions to ensure that health-care services meet the needs of Manitobans,” said Minister Blady.  “Adding even more sites means less travel for patients, more access to medical specialists and even better health-care services closer to home.”

In 2010, the Manitoba government made a commitment to expand MBTelehealth by 16 new sites.  The minister noted most of these new sites are already serving patients while a few are in varying stages of development and expected to be completed in the next few months.  These sites are in:

  • Camperville, Benito, Ethelbert, Waterhen, Winnipegosis and Souris – Prairie Mountain Health;
  • Carman and Sprague – Southern Health – Santé-Sud Regional Health Authority;
  • The Pas and Wabowden – Northern Regional Health Authority; and
  • Riverton, Teulon, Gimli, Lac du Bonnet, SelkirkMental Health Services siteand Selkirk CancerCare Navigators site –Interlake – Eastern Regional Health Authority.

“Health care using MBTelehealth is moving from being just another option for care to becoming the preferred point of access for Manitobans wishing to avoid travel for care,” said Perry Poulsen, chief information officer, Manitoba eHealth.  “Thanks to our close working relationships with our partners and local community and patient support, we have been able to build a provincewide system that has immediate and tangible benefits for patients and practitioners in Manitoba.”

The MBTelehealth program was established in 2001 through funding from Health Canada and is an ongoing program of Manitoba eHealth.  More than 500 clinician specialists from 60 specialty areas provide services through the 158 current operational sites established across the province.

MBTelehealth allows patients and specialists to communicate via live interactive videoconferencing so patients from remote communities do not have to travel long distances to receive health-care services.  Last year alone, more than 18,000 patient appointments occurred with a specialist through MBTelehealth, resulting in an estimated saving of more than $5 million in travel-associated costs, Minister Blady said.

“MBTelehealth allows me to see, hear and talk with other health-care providers to assess patients and provide consultative services in real time,” said Dr. Michael Narvey, section head of neonatology, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.  “In many cases the use of MBTelehealth in my practice has avoided a neonatal transport.  Each such instance helps to keep babies together with their families and other supports closer to home.  From a clinical perspective, this is just one example of how MBTelehealth can support health-care providers to deliver better care across the province.”

The MBTelehealth program also offers opportunities for continuing education and administrative connections between urban, rural, and northern communities across the province.

For more information on the MBTelehealth program, visit www.mbtelehealth.ca.

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