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January 15, 2009

Province Seeking Public Input on Health Needs of Manitoba Women

Updating Women's Health Strategy will Help Guide Future Planning To Best Meet Needs of Women Provincewide: Ministers

The province is seeking input from members of the public concerning the health needs of women to create an updated Women's Health Strategy, Health Minister Theresa Oswald, Labour and Immigration Minister Nancy Allan, minister responsible for the status of women, and Healthy Living Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross announced today.

"Since 1999, we have accomplished a great deal towards meeting the unique health needs of Manitoba women, but there is always more to do," said Oswald. "These public consultations will let us hear directly from Manitobans to help shape an updated provincial Women's Health Strategy that will ensure we continue moving forward into a new era of health care for Manitoba women."

The current Manitoba Women's Health Strategy was developed through community consultations in 2001 and has guided the development of provincial programs, services and policies.

The province is building a new state-of-the-art women's hospital, moving forward with plans for a new south-Winnipeg birthing centre, hiring more midwives and implementing other measures to strengthen maternal care, the ministers noted. Speaking directly with Manitobans will ensure the province can best meet the health needs of Manitoba women across the province well into the future, they said.

"Strategies for women's health are developed to make sure gender differences are addressed in all aspects of health-care delivery," said Allan. "The input we receive at these meetings will help us understand the different needs of women from every region in the province including needs from prevention efforts to acute-care services."

Meetings will be held throughout the province in January, February and early March. The meetings are being facilitated by the Women's Health Clinic.

"We welcome the chance to work with the provincial government. We share goals of continuing to refine and enhance health and health care for women in Manitoba," said Joan Dawkins, executive director of the Women's Health Clinic. "Every day we learn more about how gender differences matter in what makes women sick and what keeps us well. We are delighted to have this opportunity to work with women, their families and those who provide care to women develop a vision for the future. Come share your ideas, network and hear from others."

Key topics at the meetings will focus on what women need to stay healthy, concerns about women's health care and what services are needed for women.

"Our government is committed to ensuring Manitoba women have access to the resources they need to help them lead healthy, active lives with a focus on wellness and prevention," said Irvin-Ross. "These consultations will help us continue to build on our efforts to deliver the best care we can to women across the province."

Dates for the consultations include:

  • Jan. 22: Dauphin - 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Boardroom, Community Health Services Building, 625 Third Ave. SW, attached to the hospital;

  • Jan. 26: Beausejour - 7 to 9 p.m., Multi-purpose Room, East Gate Lodge Personal Care Home, 626 James Ave.;

  • Jan. 27: Southport, Portage - 6:30 to 9 p.m., Boardroom, Central Regional Health Authority Office, 180 Centennaire Dr.;

  • Jan. 29: Steinbach - 5 to 7:30 p.m., meeting room, Smitty's Restaurant, 5 Park Rd.;

  • Feb. 9: Winnipeg - 5:30 to 8 p.m., auditorium, Norquay Building, 401 York Ave.;

  • Feb. 17: Gimli - 5 to 7 p.m., Multi-purpose Room, Gimli Community Health Centre, 120 Sixth Ave.;

  • Feb. 18: Thompson - time and location to be announced;

  • Feb. 19: Churchill - 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., location to be announced;

  • Feb. 28: Brandon - 2:30 to 5 p.m., Victoria Inn, 3550 Victoria Ave.;

  • March 2: The Pas - 6 to 9 p.m., Health Complex, St. Anthony's Hospital, 61 First Street W.;

  • March 2: Flin Flon - (via Telehealth link), 6 to 9 p.m., Flin Flon General Hospital, Third Avenue and Church Street; and

  • March 2: Snow Lake - (via Telehealth link), 6 to 9 p.m., Snow Lake Health Centre, 100 Lakeshore Dr. E.

Updated details will be posted on the Manitoba Health website as they become available.

Manitobans unable to attend a meeting can submit their views and opinions in an online submission to www.gov.mb.ca/health/women/whs.html or by fax to 204-943-3844 (attention: Madeline Boscoe). 

Written submissions can be mailed to:  

Women's Health Clinic
c/o Madeline Boscoe
419 Graham Ave.
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 0M3

Submissions via Internet, phone and mail will be accepted until March 9.

- Source: Manitoba Health

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