News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

December 2, 2020

GOVERNMENT PROVIDES COVID-19 BENEFIT TO DOCTORS REQUIRED TO ISOLATE DUE TO ILLNESS OR EXPOSURE

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Program Available for Physicians Working in Hospital, Personal Care Homes and Community Practice: Friesen

Manitoba physicians who test positive for COVID-19, develop symptoms, are exposed to a confirmed case or are required to isolate will be compensated for their sick time away from work, Health Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen announced today.
 
“Our government recognizes the commitment and dedication of our province’s doctors as they play a vital role in Manitoba’s fight against COVID-19,” said Friesen. “Across Manitoba, doctors are caring for patients with a variety of health conditions, in the midst of a pandemic that may require them to isolate and miss work. This benefit will ensure physicians are supported when they have to step away from their clinical duties to isolate, or if they become infected with COVID-19.”
 
Manitoba’s COVID-19 isolation support for physicians will compensate those working in hospitals, personal care homes and community practice for the work they miss due to a COVID-19 diagnosis or confirmed exposure. 
 
The benefit will provide eligible physicians with coverage for up to 10 days of isolation at a time. Doctors will be able to make separate claims for up to 20 missed working days due to illness or exposure.
 
“Whether treating patients with COVID or caring for patients with other medical issues, physicians are risking infection every day,” said Dr. Cory Baillie, president, Doctors Manitoba. “This new support will help physicians to maintain their practice and cover their overhead costs while their work is disrupted due to isolation.” 
 
Nearly 30 physicians from across Manitoba have tested positive for COVID-19, with many more having completed an isolation period as a precaution.
 
The eligible period for compensation claims is retroactive to Sept. 28, 2020, when the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region was elevated to Restricted (orange) on the #RestartMB Pandemic Response System and will last the duration of the pandemic. 
 
The benefit applies to isolation required due to an exposure that occurs during the provision of medical services. It does not apply to isolation that is required due to travel or related to 
non-work related exposure at home or in the community. 
 
The COVID-19 isolation support for physicians builds on a series of steps the provincial government has taken to protect and support essential workers. In April, the Manitoba government announced supports for health-care workers required to self-isolate for 14 days due to possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace. Health-care staff are paid administrative leave for the full 14-day period of asymptomatic self-isolation. If a worker becomes symptomatic during self-isolation, the individual is compensated by sick leave benefits as per their collective agreement
 
Other initiatives include:
introducing the $35-million Caregiver Wage Support Program to support front-line workers who provide direct care and help protect vulnerable Manitobans at personal care homes and other critical settings,
advocating for a national paid sick leave program, and 
supporting pilot projects that enable rapid testing for symptomatic health-care workers scheduled to work in the next 72 hours and for pre-operative patients scheduled to undergo an aerosol-generating medical procedure.
 
For more information onCOVID-19 in Manitoba, visit www.manitoba.ca/COVID19
 
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The Province of Manitoba is distributing this news release on behalf of the
government of Manitoba and Doctors Manitoba.