Shared Health Memo on Patient Transfers: No Right of Refusal?

Treaty One Territory, Métis Homeland, Winnipeg, MB - On May 18, Shared Health issued a memo including script for health care workers which appears to deny Manitobans the ability to refuse a transfer if they are offered one, and makes no mention of out-of-province transfers at all.


The next day, May 19, Manitobans found out that ICUs and two of three ERs in Winnipeg were over capacity. Patients are now being sent to hospitals out-of-province, including one who tragically died.


Manitoba Liberals say this is a huge concern since the PCs have never yet delivered a triage protocol for how to deal with sensitive cases, and that any patient's life may be at risk if they are being transferred when they are not fully stable.


The script makes no mention of out-of-province transfers, and appears not to let patients refuse a transfer.


The document reads:


"All costs associated with medical air and ground transportation will be temporarily waived" but only until May 31 - today.


It also reads:


"If asked about the option to refuse


Our first priority is to ensure that we provide the appropriate environment of care for you. At this time, that requires a transfer to Insert Facility Name."


"This memo was sent out the day that our health care system effectively failed, and we started sending patients out of province in desperation," said Lamont. "It's not clear there was a triage protocol in place, or that people could refuse a transfer. Those are both huge red flags."

With high case counts, and ICUs full beyond capacity, Liberals say the triage protocols need to be in place.


"The PCs cut and destabilized the health care system before and during the pandemic, leaving the province vulnerable like no other," said Lamont