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This article was published 8/11/2018 (1334 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The province is seeking proposals for a residential addictions facility to treat persons with severe addiction and mental health disorders.
Health Minister Cameron Friesen said the government wants to see how the private sector can help to meet the increasing demand for service and reduce the need to send patients out of province for treatment.
On Thursday, the government announced it will issue a request for proposals (RFP) later this month. Specifics, including how many beds the facility would contain, have yet to be disclosed.
From 2013 to 2017, funding for out-of-province treatment was provided to 39 Manitobans diagnosed with severe addiction and mental health disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression.
Friesen said the cost of sending patients out of province has been hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.
He said it's believed there is now enough capacity within the province to provide these services. That could save money, allowing for more patients to be treated, and lead to better outcomes because patients would be closer to families and support networks, he said.
Those seeking out-of-province care must meet certain criteria, including a physician's referral and a lack of options in Manitoba.
Friesen said adding private-sector beds in Manitoba will not come at the expense of those in public institutions. He noted that the government recently expanded residential capacity at Health Sciences Centre and the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba.
Asked whether the proposed facility would be similar to the planned, Bruce Oake Recovery Centre, the minister said, "These are the types of facilities who may want to apply (through the RFP)."
Friesen said the tender will close 30 days after posting, with the awarding of the contract expected shortly thereafter. The recommendation for this initiative was made in the VIRGO report, which outlined a mental health and addictions strategy for the province, and builds on the government’s commitment to increase timely access to addiction and mental health services, he said.