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New physicians improving access to emergency departments in Interlake-Eastern RHA
Nineteen new family physicians now working in communities throughout Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority (RHA) are ensuring more reliable access to health care services in the region, including a significant increase in physician coverage of emergency departments, the region announced today.

“Physician leadership, team-based models of care and community engagement in physician recruitment and retention are improving the accessibility of health care services for residents of the Interlake-Eastern RHA,” said Kelvin Goertzen, Minister of Health, Seniors and Active Living. “Across rural and northern Manitoba, family doctors play a significant role in establishing a strong foundation for reliable and sustainable health care. Not only are these new primary care doctors providing consistent and sustainable health care across the Interlake-Eastern region, they are also participating in on-call rotations in the region’s emergency departments.”

Arborg, Ashern, Beausejour, Eriksdale, Gimli and Pinawa all saw increased physician emergency department coverage between September 2017 and December 2017 compared to the same period the previous year. Eriksdale, Beausejour and Arborg experienced the most significant increases to their emergency department coverage during the same period (an increase of 73, 37 and 36 per cent, respectively, in hours worked compared to 2016).

“Neighbouring communities - one example being Eriksdale and Ashern - are benefitting from team-based models of care that involve groups of doctors sharing schedules and working together to increase coverage of emergency department shifts at hospitals in both communities,” said Ron Van Denakker, CEO of Interlake-Eastern RHA.

Pinawa is benefitting from a similar arrangement, with shifts in that community’s emergency department being filled by doctors based in Pinawa and those practicing in the surrounding area, added Van Denakker. And three new doctors in Gimli, as well as the placement of a physician assistant in the community’s emergency department, have supported extended access to emergency care in recent months.

The RHA is seeing a reduction in the number of non-urgent patients seeking care in the region’s emergency departments now that residents can access more timely clinic appointments.

“In 2018, Interlake-Eastern RHA will continue to strategically align the placement of new recruits in communities where additional care providers will not only improve access to primary care but will also increase the reliability of emergency care in our emergency departments,” said Van Denakker. “We look forward to twelve new doctors beginning to practice in our region this year and will continue working with communities and our primary care and expanded care clinical teams to welcome these new doctors and ensure they are appropriately supported as they build their rural practice.”

Background - Emergency Department Coverage
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