MANITOBA GOVERNMENT SILENT DURING PARAMEDIC SERVICES WEEK

Budget Commitment to Hire 35 Additional Paramedics Impossible Task 

Download PDF here | Shared Health Response to FIPPA Request

 

May 27, 2022 Winnipeg, MB – During Paramedic Services Week which is from May 22 to 28, the Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals (MAHCP) is calling attention to the mounting paramedic staffing crisis affecting emergency medical services in rural Manitoba. Despite an as-yet unfulfilled 2019 commitment by the Manitoba Government to hire 80 additional paramedics – a commitment renewed in Budget 2022 – all available evidence points to increasing staffing vacancies, out-of-service hours and response times for rural ambulances.

“Frontline paramedics are reporting around 50 vacancies in the Prairie Mountain Health operational area alone, and there are three other regions that are desperately short-staffed,” said MACHP President Bob Moroz. “With the busy summer season bearing down, the situation is only going to get worse. Our already burnt-out paramedics are bracing for chaos in the coming months.”

Shared Health has reportedly struggled to fill paramedic vacancies in recent years. Manitoba’s flagship Primary Care Paramedic program at Red River College Polytechnic recently extended training from a one year to a two-year program and is therefore not turning out any graduates this year, making hiring even more challenging. Shared Health is also competing for paramedics with the City of Winnipeg, where wages are up to 25% higher and recruitment efforts have intensified, as well as other municipalities (Brandon and Thompson), and a small number of private providers (e.g., STARS, Fisher EMS) that hire paramedics.

“The health minister is telling Manitobans not to worry, that the recent budget has money to hire 35 additional paramedics,” said Moroz. “That commitment is part of a 2019 pledge they haven’t met, and it’s going to be impossible because there are no paramedics to hire. Shared Health can’t fill the vacancies they have now, let alone adding staff, and meanwhile ambulances are taking longer to respond to medical emergencies in rural Manitoba.”

Shared Health has not released information on paramedic staffing levels to show the status of the government’s 2019 hiring commitment of 80 additional equivalent full time (EFT) positions. An MAHCP freedom of information request for detailed data on the number of frontline positions and vacancies was denied, with Shared Health claiming that “records do not exist” and stating that it is “working on a process to have vacancy and position information readily available.” Information previously obtained by MAHCP showed out-of-service hours due to staffing shortages for rural ambulances spiking, reaching 19,000 hours in December 2021.

MAHCP wrote a letter to Health Minister Audrey Gordon in January demanding an urgent plan for paramedic training, recruitment and retention but has not received a response to date. The union is calling on the Manitoba Government to take immediate steps to build more training opportunities for rural paramedics, including working with partners in Brandon and restoring rotating programs at rural and Northern sites that were previously cut. Shared Health must also work with frontline paramedics to alleviate understaffing, burnout and fatigue in the short term and retain as many paramedics as possible.

The Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals is the union representing over 7000 members from all over Manitoba, including over 800 rural paramedics. MAHCP represents 85% of Allied Health Care Professionals in Manitoba, working in more than 190 disciplines in health care settings across the province.

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For more information or interview requests contact:
Tim Smith, Manager of Outreach and Communications
Phone: 431-337-7787 | Email: tim@mahcp.ca

 

Allied Health Week for MAHCP Members

Allied Health Week is approaching quickly, and we are excited to announce a lineup of fun activities, contests, and draws for MAHCP members! Take a peek at our poster below  to see all the fantastic events planned by MAHCP’s Member Engagement Committee. We are looking forward to seeing you there (virtually)!

For more information on how to register – email info@mahcp.ca.

Click here to download the poster

MEDIA RELEASE: Respiratory Therapy on Life Support

RESPIRATORY THERAPY ON LIFE SUPPORT WITH 50% VACANCY RATE AT CONCORDIA HOSPITAL

System Staffing Unsustainable, Down 10% In Overall Staffing from 2021

Download PDF here

Winnipeg, MB April 8, 2022 – Manitoba is facing a mounting staffing crisis for respiratory therapists according to the Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals (MAHCP), the allied health union representing respiratory therapists (RTs) in Winnipeg and the Northern Regional Health Authority. Respiratory therapists are an essential part of the health-care team, providing a range of critical services, tests, and treatments for patients’ respiratory health needs in hospitals, clinics, and the community.

“Respiratory therapists are essential to keep our ICUs, emergency rooms, urgent cares and operating rooms running, but there aren’t enough of them,” said Bob Moroz, MAHCP President. “This is critically important work; they keep people breathing. Understaffing cannot be an option.”

Starting next week, the Concordia Hospital will be functioning with only 2.5 equivalent full-time (EFT) respiratory therapists, except for one Anesthesiology RT dedicated to surgeries. Minimum baseline staffing is 5.2 EFT, resulting in over a 50% vacancy rate. Concordia Hospital operates on a 24-hour basis with an increasingly small complement of RTs. RTs are taking on additional shifts, with some staff working back-to-back 12-hour shifts, and being denied breaks. Meanwhile, respiratory therapists at Grace Hospital are reportedly being limited to only one staff member off at a time due to short-staffing.

“Concordia is struggling almost every day, and sometimes hour to hour, to cover shifts,” said Moroz. “The situation at that hospital has reached a critical level, but unfortunately this is a system-wide problem. We have nowhere close to the number of RTs we need to handle another pandemic surge – there’s nowhere left to pull staff from. It’s unsustainable.”

Registration statistics from the regulatory body, the Manitoba Association of Registered Respiratory Therapists, show the current number of registered RTs at 332, a 10% decline from a high of 365 practicing last year. Meanwhile, the Bachelor of Respiratory Therapy program at the University of Manitoba has only 16 funded training seats, a number that has remained static since the degree program’s inception.

“Unfortunately, with the amount of burnout we’re seeing among respiratory therapists and other allied health professionals, this sharp decline in staffing when we need them most isn’t surprising,” said Moroz. “What we need is an immediate plan and dedicated investment in training, recruitment and retention for this critical profession, and we need it fast.”

The Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals is a union representing over 6500 allied health professionals working in more than 190 disciplines across Manitoba. For more information on MAHCP visit www.mahcp.ca.

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For all media requests/interviews please contact:
Amy Tuckett-McGimpsey (she/her), Communications Officer
Cell: 431-337-3440 | Email: amy@mahcp.ca

 

 

Join our Team!

Click here for the posting.

The Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals has an exciting opportunity for a skilled labour relations practitioner as a full-time Labour Relations Officer.

The Labour Relations Officer will be involved in all aspects of labour relations including:

Interpretation and administration of the collective agreement.

Supporting the membership in workplace issues, including harassment complaints and investigations, workplace accommodation, return to work programs, and discipline

Grievance handling, arbitration preparation, and negotiation of settlements.

Creating and conducting educational programs for the membership.

Involvement in research and committee work

 

COMPENSATION

A competitive salary and comprehensive employer-paid benefits package as per the UNIFOR Local 191 /MAHCP collective agreement. 

 

QUALIFICATIONS

Labour Relations experience in health care combined with a post-secondary degree
in labour relations and 3-5 years related experience.

Equivalent training and experience may be considered.

Excellent written and oral communication skills.

Demonstrated advocacy, human relations, negotiation, and problem solving skills. 

Valid Manitoba driver’s license willingness to travel within Manitoba using own vehicle, if required. 

The ability to work some non-conforming hours.

 

THE ASSOCIATION

The Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals is a trade union representing approximately 6600 health care professionals in Manitoba. For more information about MAHCP, visit www.mahcp.ca.

Please submit your resume, in confidence, by Friday, April 1st, 2022 to: 

Mr. Lee Manning
101-1500 Notre Dame Ave.
Winnipeg, MB R3E 0P9
Fax: (204) 775-6829
E-mail: lee@mahcp.ca

Thank you for your interest, however only those who are to be interviewed will be contacted.

 

 

Trivia Night for MAHCP Members!


MAHCP Member Engagement Committee presents Trivia Night, on Friday, April 8th, 2022. Fun for the whole family, join us on zoom and buzz in through your smart phone (you must download the corresponding app)! The room opens at 6:30pm, with trivia starting at 7 p.m. – to register check your email for the link or contact info@mahcp.ca.

$200 for 1st place and other prizes* to be awarded throughout the night.

*Please note, while families can participate – the registered person must be a full MAHCP member.

While tickets are free – we do have a 100 person maximum. Register early to avoid disappointment. Be sure to tell your MAHCP co-workers and we hope to see you there!

Click here for the poster – please print out and put on your union board if you can.

 

Join our Team!

Data Entry Clerk/Administrative Assistant

Full-time Position/In-Scope

Click here for full job description.

Please submit your resume in confidence, by mail, fax or e-mail to:

Mr. Lee Manning
101-1500 Notre Dame Ave. Winnipeg, MB R3E 0P9 Fax: (204) 775-6829
lee@mahcp.ca

Closing date: March 4, 2022

MEDIA RELEASE: Ambulance Wait Times Spiking as Rural Paramedic Staffing Crisis Worsens

Ambulance Wait Times Spiking as Rural Paramedic Staffing Crisis Worsens

Copy of internal report for December reveals alarming trends.

PDF Version with Backgrounder including highlighted data from Shared Health report click here.

February 11, 2022 | Winnipeg, MB – Rural Manitobans are waiting significantly longer for an ambulance to arrive in a medical emergency according to a recent Shared Health report obtained by the Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals (MAHCP), the union representing rural paramedics.

“This leaked report proves what we’ve been telling the Health Minister since last summer,” said MAHCP President Bob Moroz. “The failure to address the paramedic staffing crisis, which is getting worse every month, is putting life-saving services for Manitobans at risk.”

Shared Health data from October 2021, which MAHCP released last month, showed out-of-service hours due to staff shortages at a five-year high of over 17,000 hours in October. MAHCP has obtained comparable data from a December 2021 report showing the staffing crisis growing even more acute, leading to over 19,000 hours out-of-service due to staffing shortages, an estimated 10% increase in just two months. When an ambulance is out of service due to lack of paramedics to staff it, that unit is unavailable to respond to emergency or non-emergent calls.

The December 2021 report also reveals concerning trends in ambulance response times, which Shared Health stopped publicly reporting in 2019. The report shows maximum response times are up as much as 35% for all calls compared to 2018, and up as much as 26% for emergent calls in that timeframe, with a significant increase in just two months between October and December last year.

“These out-of-service and response time statistics are alarming,” said Moroz. “I’m hearing almost every day from paramedics who are concerned they won’t be there in time for their patients because there simply aren’t enough of them to do the job they’re asked to do. That puts Manitobans at serious risk.”

In early January, MAHCP wrote again to Audrey Gordon, Minister of Health and Seniors Care, demanding that the government acknowledge and address the growing crisis, after previously raising this issue numerous times since last summer. To date, MAHCP has received no response to our January letter, or any indication that a plan will be released.

Meanwhile, The Province of Alberta released a 10-point plan last month to address paramedic understaffing, including a commitment to hire more paramedics and consult with stakeholders. Alberta’s plan follows similar commitments made by the B.C. government last year.

“Government needs short-term solutions to make sure we don’t burn out and lose more paramedics today, and we need longer-term commitments to train and recruit more paramedics,” said Moroz. “We’re calling for a plan to ensure that life-saving paramedic services are there for all Manitobans when we need them.”

MAHCP is also calling on government and Shared Health to resume public reporting of EMS response times. The last public report from the last quarter of 2018 is no longer available on the Government of Manitoba’s website or through Shared Health.

The Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals is a union representing over 6500 allied health professionals working in more than 190 disciplines across Manitoba. For more information on MAHCP visit www.mahcp.ca.

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For all media requests/interviews please contact:
Amy Tuckett-McGimpsey, Communications Officer
Cell: 431-337-3440 | Email: amy@mahcp.ca

International Women’s Day Nominations Open!

Do you know an incredible co-worker who deserves to be recognized in their field of work? 

We are honouring amazing MAHCP members for International Women’s Day on Tuesday, March 8th, 2022 on our social media channels and in our upcoming newsletter. We encourage nominations of cis women, transgender, Two Spirit, and non-binary people.

We want to hear from you! Nominate a MAHCP member by March 1. Download our form today or visit www.mahcp.ca/iwd2022.

Download Nomination Form here.