Position on Mask-Wearing
CPSM has received questions about whether wearing masks can or should be required in physician offices and many may be re-evaluating the need for masks based on Shared Health lifting their masking requirements in most healthcare settings on May 10, 2023.
CPSM continues to follow the guidance set by Public Health. CPSM registrants at Shared Health-managed facilities must follow the clinical guidelines of their location. Other clinics and facilities should plan to be mask friendly.
Decisions about the use of masks should consider three main guidelines:
1. Physicians should use their knowledge, skill, and judgment to protect patients, staff, and themselves from COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses. We recognize that CPSM registrants are most suited to assess the risks within their practice and in their patients' best interests when setting mask policies.
- You may need to make reasonable accommodations if you have a particularly vulnerable patient population. This may include minimizing contact with other patients by seeing them at the beginning or end of the day or ushering them into a room upon arrival.
2. Communicate your clinic masking policy expectations to patients, staff, and other visitors.
3. Protocols must not restrict access to care or affect the quality of care provided. This means:
- Respecting requests to wear a mask during an encounter with a patient who requests it. Everyone has different comfort levels and accommodating reasonable requests to wear a mask may prevent concerns about masking being escalated to CPSM.
- Physicians encouraging mask-wearing cannot refuse to provide care to a patient who is not wearing a mask.
This guidance is reflective of the data available currently. CPSM will continue to monitor the situation and this guidance may change as necessary.
Manitoba Health most updated management protocols and guidelines for COVID-19
CMPA FAQs on Face Masks for Patients