WINNIPEG — Social distancing, virtual doctor visits and a COVID-19 isolation unit are all part of new changes to the Manitoba health care system, as the outbreak of COVID-19 continues.
On Thursday, Manitoba’s Health Minister Cameron Friesen said the province has set up virtual doctor visit and virtual psychotherapy appointments to follow social distancing protocols.
This would be done by telephone or a remote video feed for diagnosis, treatment, prescription or prescription renewals.
“This is new, but all Manitobans can understand how important this is to help observe social distancing instructions,” Friesen said.
Friesen said they’ve reached an agreement with health-care labour union to allow staff to be redeployed and moved into areas of “surge.”
“It’s forward planning, it is contingency planning and I just want to cite the fact that everyone came together and put patients first in a plan that would provide certainty and ensure that staff will be there for patients,” he said, noting all Manitoba healthcare facilities will be implementing new precautions.
Health officials said one unit at the Health Sciences Centre will be moved to the former Women’s Hospital on Notre Dame in order to make room for a 30-bed isolation unit for COVID-19.
“I want to be clear, we do not need this capacity at the current time, we are planning ahead of time,” he said.
Shared Health is recommending no visitors at acute care sites in the province, with some exceptions, as well as one parent or guardian at a time at the Children’s Hospital.
CancerCare Manitoba will look at each situation on a case-by-case basis.
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