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Planning for the future of our health care system

At the centre of Manitoba’s health system transformation is the development of Manitoba’s Clinical and Preventive Services Plan. To view the full report, click here.

Front-line providers and clinical experts from across our province are working on the development of Manitoba’s Clinical and Preventive Services Plan, a made-in-Manitoba plan to deliver better health outcomes, shorter wait times and improved national rankings.

Updated annually, this rolling five year plan is a core responsibility of Shared Health and is at the centre of Manitoba’s health system transformation.

Led by Shared Health, the planning process included clinical leaders from a variety of professional backgrounds and with experience working in many different health care settings throughout the province. These experts brought their diverse experience and perspectives to the planning process, gathering information and analyzing data compiled on the services, delivery and models of care used across the province as well as leading practices from other jurisdictions.

Planning is aligned with principles that will support better patient care, fiscal affordability and sustainability of the quality of care offered now and in the future, as well as streamlined pathways and clear provider roles and responsibilities, equity of patient access and improved integration.

Why is a provincial plan required

Manitoba’s population of 1.3 million is geographically dispersed, with varied levels of population growth, an overall aging population and pockets of younger Manitobans particularly among the province’s Indigenous communities and in the north.

Social determinants of health such as income, education and employment rates impact health outcomes and services planned and delivered via five regional health authorities (RHAs) each with varied disease prevalence and health status.

A quarter of Manitoba’s population lives outside the province’s urban centres yet a significant percentage of Manitoba’s health-care providers work in urban settings while nearly all specialists are located in Winnipeg.

Against this backdrop of dispersed population and diverse need, Manitoba health-care providers deliver care that is often challenged in terms of consistency and availability despite significant increases in what Manitobans invest in the health care system.

Our staff and providers are committed to the patients they serve. Yet in many areas of our health system, wait times and outcomes lag behind those of our counterparts in other Canadian jurisdictions in large part because our system was built for the health needs of the population more than 50 years ago.

While our daily work has adjusted to meet the needs of our patients, we know that those patients and the dedicated staff and providers who care for them regularly encounter barriers that make access to – and delivery of – excellent patient care more difficult.

How will a provincial plan improve outcomes?

Jurisdictions across Canada and around the globe have achieved improvements in areas like access to services, coordination amongst providers and the overall efficiency and sustainability of the delivery of care, by taking a system-based approach to planning, focusing on enhanced community services and primary care while clearly identifying the pathways and coordination required between providers in the community and those delivering more specialized or acute care.

In these jurisdictions, changes have often enabled improvements to be made while supporting increased demands associated with increased or aging populations, incidence of chronic disease and advancements in technology.

Shared Health is responsible for the creation of a provincial clinical and preventive services plan that will guide improvements to access, coordination and integration of health services in Manitoba. The plan will be updated annually and will identify improved, innovative ways of delivering care, clear provider roles and responsibilities and easy to understand pathways for patients to ensure they are able to access appropriate care as close to home as possible, with the certainty that specialized resources are available to them if they are required.

How the plan was developed

Nearly 300 Provincial Clinical Team (PCT) members analyzed data, reviewed leading practices and models of care from other jurisdictions and developed a plan to improve health services for Manitoba patients.

Provincial Clinical Team conference

Eleven teams, organized around specialty areas of care like primary health and community services, mental health and addictions, chronic and complex medicine, and women and child health, reviewed data, models of care and outcomes, analyzed the needs of specialized populations and assessed opportunities to improve access, coordination and quality of care. Cross-clinical working groups with expertise in Indigenous Health, Quality and Patient Safety, Digital Health, Diagnostics and Emergency Medical Services and Patient Transport worked across all teams to ensure the recommendations were integrated into a provincial plan that is appropriate for the needs, acuity and geography of Manitoba’s population. The health-care needs of any population are constantly changing and the plan was adapted to ensure the services delivered, and the providers who deliver them, are able to adapt while ensuring a continued focus on accessible, equitable and quality care provided by skilled health-care professionals.

Provincial Clinical and Preventive Services Plan chart

Next Steps

Clinical planning workshops have focused in on the success of health systems in other parts of the country and around the world, identifying the improved outcomes and easier access to care that have been achieved by implementing integrated health systems.

Planning is patient-focused, taking careful consideration of the need to improve the experience and access of Manitoba’s unique patient populations, while looking at leading practices in use in other jurisdictions as well as innovative practices and pilot projects already in operation in parts of Manitoba’s health system.

Across the provincial clinical teams, opportunities have now been identified to lay the foundation for improved models of care, guided by leading practice and evidence to build the capacity necessary to ensure the appropriate expertise and optimal technology exist to deliver care while monitoring and measuring improvements in patient quality and safety.

Elements of the proposed model of the future, including necessary enhancements to capacity in order to allow for consistent access to clinical expertise (including enablers like digital health and diagnostics to allow for both appropriate patient transfers to higher levels of care and repatriation of patients to be cared for closer to home) continue to be refined and tested against the needs of the population as PCTs continue to meet to refine the model for Manitoba’s population.

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