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Manitoba unveils plan for modernized health cards


Manitoba Premier Wab Kinew Announces Transition to Plastic and Digital Options
Premier Wab Kinew Announces Transition to Plastic and Digital Options

By: Winnipeg Tribune Staff Writer


Winnipeg, March 28, 2024 - Premier Wab Kinew has unveiled plans to change healthcare access in Manitoba with the introduction of a modernized plastic health card, as part of Budget 2024 initiatives. The move aims to replace the outdated paper health cards, providing Manitobans with durable and convenient access to essential healthcare services.


"It's 2024 – your health coverage shouldn't rely on a torn, ripped-up health card," asserted Premier Kinew during the announcement. "Our budget will bring Manitoba into the 21st century with a plastic card and a digital option. It just makes sense. Manitobans have been very vocal about the need to make improvements, and we have heard them. Work is already underway, and we will deliver the first cards by this time next year."


The Manitoba government has initiated efforts to develop and launch a new, modernized card, which will offer both plastic and digital alternatives. Premier Kinew emphasized the province's commitment to completing this transition by the following year, marking a significant stride towards modernizing the healthcare system and moving away from traditional paper-based practices.


In response to longstanding concerns about delayed health card processing times, Premier Kinew highlighted recent initiatives to address the issue. In October 2023, the government substantially increased staffing capacity to expedite processing and eliminate a backlog of over 24,000 applications. Despite the provincial service standard of four weeks, applicants were experiencing delays of several months. The government has now pledged to uphold a two-week service standard for new health card applications.


Further details regarding the material and design of the new plastic card will be unveiled in the coming months, Premier Kinew confirmed. The development plan will also include provisions for digitizing the card, enhancing convenience and security for Manitobans accessing healthcare services.

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