The province says this is the template that will integrate and align health services, making the system more efficient.
The changes aren’t expected to dramatically impact the average person’s healthcare experience immediately, but the province says patients should notice a more integrated approach when using services as the changes roll out over the next three to four years.
The amendments mean the five regional health authorities, as well as CancerCare Manitoba and Shared Health will all be under one blueprint, called a clinical services plan, once it’s rolled out in the coming years.
Provincial experts say this will help better plan things like how many knee surgeries will be needed across the province.
Shared Health will assume responsibility for the delivery of many of Manitoba’s health services. But each health authority will still need to develop its own operating plan.
About 400 people from the various health authorities are working on the clinical services plan.
Health Minister Cameron Friesen says the clinical plan will help improve accountability for the delivery of health services by the various health authorities.
“Value counts, measurement counts — there will be a variety of methods by which authorities will be held accountable,” Minister Friesen said.
While the changes are not coming as a cost-saving procedure, the alignments are expected to make procurements more efficient and potentially more cost-effective.
More tangible changes include the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba ceasing to exist on its own as a legal entity. The operations will be transferred to Shared Health over the next two years to run as an addictions and mental health program.
The Health Sciences Centre, Selkirk Mental Health Centre and certain mental health services in the WRHA will also be transferred to Shared Health.
The changes begin in April and roll out over the next two to three years.
Emergency medical services will also fall under Shared Health’s responsibility.
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-With files from Sharon Pfeifer