Keep health card addresses up to date, MKO urges

Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanka (MKO) and Keewatinohk Inniniw Minoayawin (KIM) are encouraging First Nations citizens to keep their addresses on their Manitoba health cards up to date if they have moved from their First Nation to urban or rural areas off-reserve.

“In recent weeks, we had learned of two positive COVID-19 cases linked to Northern Manitoba. We later learned that the two cases were amongst people who live off reserve and outside of the Northern Health Region. This complicated tracking of the virus and had caused fear amongst some people in some communities,” said Grand Chief Garrison Settee. “First Nations and northern residents have worked extremely hard to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Northern Manitoba. I am encouraging all First Nations residents to ensure their health cards are kept up to date to help ensure positive cases of COVID-19 can be properly recorded.”

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Dr. Barry Lavallee, chief executive officer of KIM, established to support the health and wellness priorities identified by First Nation in Northern Manitoba, said accurate information about where cases are located helps the public health department take action to limit the virus’s spread.

“With rising cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba, the ability to track the location of positive cases is essential to ensuring that robust public health measures are in place to respond to the virus,” said Lavallee. “We are now seeing the second wave of the pandemic. I want to encourage all First Nations residents in Manitoba to ensure the information on their health card is current. This will help ensure that First Nations have correct information about the location(s) of positive cases of COVID-19.”

Residents can update information for their Manitoba health cards over the phone, by fax, by email, or through the mail. Full information on how to update health cards is online at https://www.gov.mb.ca/health/mhsip/forms.html

The Manitoba health Registration and Client Services Office in Winnipeg can be reached by phone at 1-800-392-1207, by email at insuredben@gov.mb.ca, or by mail at 300 Carlton Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R3B 3M9.

Cards with updated information are mailed within seven to 10 days of being updated and people who need emergency health services while waiting for their new card can contact the Manitoba Health office to receive their Personal Health Identification number via phone or email.

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