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This article was published 15/5/2019 (382 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The Manitoba government has inked a $2-million deal with Ottawa to provide opioid replacement therapy training for medical professionals.
Health Minister Cameron Friesen said the federal funding will go toward a contract established with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba to offer more training sessions for prescribers.
The province expects at least 400 more physicians, nurse practitioners and pharmacists will be trained on how to administer opiate replacement therapy over the next five years. They will learn how and when to give medications like suboxone and methadone to those struggling with addictions to opioids.
"I would note that this is a form of harm reduction. Just today, the leader of the opposition (Wab Kinew) said more should be done for harm reduction. And here’s another way in which this government is taking action and putting more in place," Friesen told reporters Wednesday.
In a prepared statement, federal Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor noted how, on a national scale, "the opioid crisis continues to be one of the most serious public health issues in Canada's recent history."
"Throughout this project (with the province), the Government of Canada is helping to increase access to evidence-based treatment services in Manitoba. Together, we are supporting people with opioid use disorder in living healthier lives," she said.
Friesen pointed out the new bilateral agreement fulfils a recommendation from last year's VIRGO report. The report, which focused on strategies to improve Manitoba's mental health and addictions systems, was released a year ago this week. It noted Manitoba should leverage federal funding opportunities for mental health, addictions and housing supports.
In the house Wednesday, Premier Brian Pallister noted the government has made progress on a "dozen-plus" recommendations laid out in VIRGO. The report had 125 recommendations altogether.
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