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Manitoba to Introduce Long-Awaited Plastic Health Cards

March 28, 2024 12:39 PM | News

Manitoba Health Card

An example of the existing paper health card used in Manitoba. (HANDOUT)

WINNIPEG — The days of self-laminating your own paper Manitoba health card will soon be over.

The province announced Thursday plans to replace existing health cards with newer, plastic versions.

The promise comes as part of the government’s 2024-25 budget, which will be released on April 2.

“It’s 2024 — your health coverage shouldn’t rely on a torn, ripped-up health card,” said Premier Wab Kinew.

“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 new plastic cards are part of a larger digitization effort for health-care services in Manitoba, which will eventually allow for electronic patient records and faster test results.

Kinew said further details on the material and design of the new plastic card will be shared in the coming months. Part of the development plan will include an option to digitize the card to make it easier for Manitobans to securely carry and use the card they need to access health-care services.

During the pandemic, the province was able to quickly roll out plastic vaccination cards to the masses. However, getting rid of the paper health cards has long been on the wish list of many Manitobans.

Officials are also reviewing the application process for first-time health card holders and those looking to update their existing card. Anyone looking for information about their health card application can call (204) 786-7101 or 1-800-392-1207.

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