ontario news watch

Manitoba axes group set up by former PC government to tackle surgery backlog

WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government is dissolving a group created nearly two years ago to tackle a backlog of surgeries and diagnostic tests caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Health Minister Uzoma Asagwara says the group, formed by the previous Progressive Conservative government, was supposed to be a short-term solution and has now served its purpose. 

The group included physicians, members of the general public and others, and looked at several options, including sending more patients out of province to get faster service. 

Asagwara says patients should be able to be close to their loved ones while recovering and sending people to other parts of the country or to the United States should not be the standard.

The province has approved the expansion of surgeries at the Grace Hospital in Winnipeg and the expansion of spinal surgeries at one hospital in Brandon and two in Winnipeg. 

Manitoba will also be sending a mobile MRI machine to the Northern Regional Health Authority to reduce travel for patients living in the north. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 17, 2023. 

The Canadian Press