The Manitoba government has dissolved the Diagnostic and Surgical Recovery Task Force (DSRTF) and is redirecting its focus and funding towards public health-care delivery.

This task force was set up in December 2021 to address wait-lists for diagnostic and surgical procedures and associated services hit by the COVID-19 crisis.

Shared Health, a provincial health organisation, will take on the management of the DSRTF structure as it is shut down.

Ongoing patient care and scheduled procedures will continue without interruption during this transition.

The government now plans to focus on three key projects to enhance public health care, including the deployment of a mobile MRI service in the Northern Regional Health Authority and the expansion of surgical slates at the Grace Hospital.

Besides, it aims to expand spinal surgery programmes at Brandon Regional Health Centre, Concordia Hospital, and Health Sciences Centre Winnipeg.

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Minister of Health, Seniors and Long-Term Care Uzoma Asagwara said: “For the Grace Hospital, the addition of surgical slates for urology and arthroplasty means the community can expect enhanced surgical procedures, improved patient outcomes, and a higher standard of care.”

“This expansion will enable medical professionals to provide specialised treatments, addressing a broader range of medical needs within this community.

“We are excited about the positive impact this will have on the lives of patients and the overall well-being of the community.”

Northern Health Region vice-president medical services and chief medical officer Dr. Harsahil Singh said: “Having an MRI machine in northern Manitoba is going to be a huge step in bringing care closer to our patients and their loved ones, thereby reducing the need to travel large distances to receive this service in southern Manitoba.

“It will allow patients to get timely access to this important diagnostic tool. MRI enables clinicians to make critical clinical decisions that improves patient care, and we are excited to have this facility available in the north in the near future.”