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Manitoba Representative

Mindy Eklove - Email

Manitoba, one of the Prairie Provinces, has a large number of rural communities. From largely farming towns in southern and central areas to predominantly Indigenous communities in northern and remote regions.

In addition to the rural farming towns or the larger rural centres with industries who employ many newcomers, there are a total of 63 Indigenous communities. The Northern RHA has the highest proportion of First Nations communities with 42% of its population identifying as living in a First Nation.

The Manitoba Health Care Providers Network was established in 2002 to address recruitment and retention issues in health care in rural and northern Manitoba. The organization works with students and professionals to in order to increase the number of individuals choosing rural and northern locations for their place of work.

Under the current Conservative Provincial Government, Manitoba is undergoing changes to its health care system. The creation of Shared Health likely signals changes to come to the Province’s current Regional Health Authorities. At this time the Province remains divided into Regional Health Authorities (RHAs), four of the five RHAs are rural in composition. The rural RHAs represent 45% of the 1,282,000 Manitobans. The Mission of Shared Health, in part, is to build an accessible and integrated health system that coordinates consistent and reliable care, capitalizes on talent and expertise across the province, demonstrates positive outcomes and focuses shared resources to effectively serve the health needs of Manitobans.

As has been experienced by our colleagues to the east and west, it is more important than ever for rural and remote physicians to have a voice in shaping the future of Manitoba’s health care system. Join the Society of Rural Physicians of Canada. It is one organization that can support us and help us integrate a national as well as local approach to proposed changes ensuring that high quality rural and remote health care is not jeopardized.

Provincial and Territorial Representatives are volunteers elected by members as per the by-laws at the annual meeting. Representatives from across the country help to make the work of the Society of Rural Physicians happen. They are your contacts. Please feel free to share information, questions and concerns with them for discussion at quarterly meetings. The outcome will come back to you via the SRPC Newsletter, emails, the RuralMed mailing list, or directly via your representative. We can always use more human resources and ideas. If you have something to contribute, let us know!