An article in today’s Winnipeg Free Press claims that “soaring costs, scarce resources and recurring system failures are stunting the progress of Manitoba’s electronic health systems”. The article states that documents obtained through freedom of information requests “show the project could cost an extra $350 million and take up to 20 years to complete”.
Roger Girard, the CIO of Manitoba eHealth, is quoted extensively in the article. Mr. Girard is one of Canada’s eHealth pioneers and has extensive experience implementing eHealth systems. In the article he states that “No one is happy with the timelines, but I for one don’t believe at this particular time we could could any faster.”
Mr. Girard took on a huge challenge when he stepped up to the CIO role. Manitoba had under invested in healthcare IT for many years and was lagging many other provinces in the use of IT in healthcare services delivery. Changing this situation is a significant undertaking whose magnitude should not be underestimated.