MHPAC’s Letter to Political Parties
I am writing on behalf of the Manitoba Health Professional Associations Coalition (MHPAC). We
are a coalition of health professionals and organizations representing nearly 20 disciplines and
over 30,000 people who are both currently practicing health professionals and students. These
disciplines include but are not limited to nursing, dentistry, psychology, occupational therapy,
chiropractors and massage therapy.
We believe that healthcare is one of the most important issues for Manitobans in this upcoming
election, and we want to ensure that our members – who are the backbone of our healthcare
system – will be able to make an informed decision on October 3rd.
We are reaching out to all primary political parties in Manitoba prior to the provincial election to
ask 5 healthcare-focused questions. We will be sharing the responses we receive with our
members, and the responses may be publicized on the websites of our member associations.
Responding to these questions will give you the opportunity to share your priorities directly with
health professionals across Manitoba. Our professions are vital contributors to Manitoba’s
health services, and we are voters who care deeply about the direction of our province.
You will find the questions below. Responses can be emailed to email@example.com, and
we will gladly discuss any clarifications you need on the questions we have posed.
- What and who do you see as part of the publicly funded health system across
- How will you invest in preventative care and coordinating services impacting all the
social determinants to optimize health and improve the wellness of all Manitobans?
- How would you address retention and recruitment in the health system? Any additional
supports for rural and remote areas?
- How would you involve health professionals in decision making for changes that impact
the health system, and which professionals would you involve?
- What is the action plan for the continued movement of professions into the Regulated
Health Professions Act?
Additionally, our Coalition would be happy to meet with you to explore how we can together
support the health and well-being of Manitobans.
We thank you in advance for your response, and look forward to learning about your healthcare
priorities before June 16, 2023.
Heidi Garcia, Chair of the Manitoba Health Professional Associations Coalition (MHPAC)
MPS’ Letter to Political Parties
September 10, 2023
The Manitoba Psychological Society (MPS) recognizes that your party has an important
opportunity to improve the quality of life for all Manitobans; “without mental health,
there can be no true physical health,” (Chisholm, 1954). As such, our members and other
fellow constituents look forward to your answers to the following questions, as they
consider how they will vote in the upcoming election.
- Manitoba has the smallest per capita rate of psychologists in the country (20
psychologists per 100,000 Manitobans compared to 53 psychologists per 100,000
Canadians; CIHI, 2023). This statistic is alarming from both a healthcare and fiscal
perspective as the efficacy and cost savings associated with evidence-based
psychological services have both been well documented (every $1.00 spend on
psychology services yields a $5.00 savings on medical costs; Canadian Psychological
Association, J. Hunsley, 2002). Both the Peachey and Virgo reports recommend
increasing the number of psychologists to be closer to the national average. More
recently in August of this year, Doctor’s Manitoba released a Prescription for
Improving Health which also recommends increasing the number of psychologists in
Manitoba Doctors Manitoba | Doctors Offer Prescription for Improving Health…
Although several new psychologist positions have been created in the public health
system over the past year, we still have a long way to go to come closer to the
national average. In addition, while these positions are a positive step, the system
will have to find psychologists to fill them.
What does your party plan to do to address this ongoing shortage?
What specific steps does your party plan to take in order to recruit and retain
psychologists in Manitoba’s public healthcare system?
What additional steps does your party plan to take in order to recruit and retain
psychologists in rural, northern, and remote Manitoba communities?
- Manitobans currently have the option of accessing the services of psychologists
through the public healthcare system or through the private system. This latter option
is not currently financially supported by Manitoba Health and requires Manitobans to
pay out of pocket or utilize extended health insurance benefits, which are often
insufficient to support an adequate diagnostic assessment and/or course of treatment.
What is your party’s position on Manitoba Health financially supporting residents’
access to private psychology services?
We look forward to posting the responses from all political parties on our website, our
social media platforms, and emailing the responses to all our members.
Dr. Jo Ann Unger, C.Psych.
Dr. Karen Dyck, C.Psych.
Executive Director, MPS