Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Letter of the Day

Looking beyond doctors

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Re: After hours, Manitoba MDs are out (Jan. 22). While access to care with physicians is an important aspect of achieving quality primary care, let's not forget that many other health-care professionals can provide the care Manitobans require -- with exceptional expertise and less costs associated.

As a primary-care nurse, I perform detailed assessments, provide comprehensive health-care education and work with team members (including physicians and inter-professional health-care providers) to develop client-oriented plans of care. For decades, research has shown that people achieve greater overall health and satisfaction with care when it is provided by the right provider at the right time.

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Yet only physicians can bill for services provided in private clinics, which is where most Manitobans receive their primary-care services. This has led to increased wait times and increased strain on emergency services, among others.

Perhaps it is time for us as Manitobans to start asking government and policy-makers why we continue to use a fee system that so obviously limits our access to care and rewards physicians based on the quantity, not the quality, of care given.

CHRISSY DANELL

Winnipeg

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 24, 2013 A13

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