WINNIPEG – A former Saskatchewan MLA will head up Manitoba’s new Wait Time Reduction Task Force, the province announced Monday.
Wayne Elhard served in the legislature as a member of the Saskatchewan Party between 1999 and 2016. The Manitoba government said he is currently a consultant in the private sector, focusing on trade, transportation and government relations.
“Wayne Elhard brings the experience and knowledge necessary to oversee the work ahead as we address waits in emergency care and surgical and diagnostic procedures,” said Health Minister Kelvin Goertzen in a statement. “The work of this task force is key to identifying the processes that are not working and which must be improved if we are to ensure better patient care and the long-term sustainability of our health-care system.”
Elhard will chair a committee of 13 members from Manitoba made up of doctors, nurses and members of the public.
An online public survey will be launched next week, followed by public consultations throughout rural Manitoba.
The task force was launched in December to look at emergency wait times and waits for procedures like MRI’s or hip and knee replacement.
READ MORE: Province Announces Wait Times Task Force
Dr. John Ross of Nova Scotia and Dr. Alecs Chochinov of Winnipeg will lead the emergency task force while Dr. Jack McPherson of Winnipeg and Dr. Michael Rachlis of Toronto (a University of Manitoba grad) will tag team the priority procedures committee.
The task force is expected to report back with some recommendations this summer.
Winnipeg consistently has some of the longest ER wait times in Canada.
READ MORE: Winnipeg Remains Dead Last For ER Wait Times
“Manitobans seeking timely access to health-care services continue to endure unacceptable wait times for emergency care as well as surgical and diagnostic procedures,” said Goertzen. “Recent studies and reports, including the Peachey report on clinical services commissioned by the previous government, have demonstrated clearly that timely access to diagnostic services is a key factor in reducing waits for care.”