Manitoba is looking to improve the treatment options available to help those living with pain.
The government announced nearly $4 million in funding Thursday to expand the Manitoba Pain Care Program, including the creation of a new pain-care clinic at the Selkirk Regional Health Centre.
“Chronic pain management is about putting the patient at the centre of their care by giving them expanded and faster access to multidisciplinary treatments,” Health Minister Audrey Gordon said in a release.
The province says the money will be used for a “phased restructuring and expansion” of the pain program, formerly known as the Provincial Pain Management Program.
Existing clinics will start by scheduling more appointments and additional procedures, the province said in a release, while recruitment gets underway to add staff, including psychologists, physiotherapists and kinesiologists.
Over the span of a year, the province says equipment, resources and staff will be added to the program, including at Winnipeg’s Health Sciences Centre (HSC) and Pan Am Clinic, and at the Brandon Regional Health Centre.
Capacity at existing locations is expected to increase over the coming months, the government said.
The new pain care clinic at Selkirk Regional Health Centre will be located at the outpatient clinic this year and will include a C-arm fluoroscopic X-ray system, the province said.
A satellite pain care clinic in Thompson will also see increased resources and appointment times at the two Winnipeg sites, Gordon said.
Recruitment is underway, with 32 new staff and clinical providers expected to be hired in all.
“Our goal is to improve the entire experience for Manitobans in pain by reducing wait times, improving access and addressing their pain in ways that may limit their need for medications,” said Dr. Chris Christodoulou, a member of the province’s Diagnostic and Surgical Recovery Task Force steering committee.
“We are excited at the opportunity to build a comprehensive pain care program to serve all Manitobans both today and into the future.”