Say goodbye to the tattered paper version of your Manitoba Health Card.

Premier Wab Kinew has announced that Budget 2024 will allocate funds to implement new plastic health cards, replacing the existing paper ones.

"It's 2024 – your health coverage shouldn't rely on a torn, ripped-up health card," stated 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 Manitoba government is working to develop and launch a new, modernized card, including plastic and digital options, to replace the existing paper health card. The province aims to roll out these new cards by 2025 to transition the health-care system away from paper and fax machines towards electronic patient records.

Premier Kinew highlighted the government's efforts to expedite the process by addressing the previous delays in health card issuance. In October 2023, staffing capacity was more than doubled to reduce processing times and eliminate a backlog of over 24,000 applications. Despite a provincial service standard of four weeks, applicants were experiencing delays of several months. The government has now committed to a two-week service standard for new health card applications.

Further details regarding the material and design of the new plastic card will be disclosed in the upcoming months. The development plan will also include an option to digitize the card.

For inquiries regarding health card applications, Manitobans can contact 204-786-7101 or 1-800-392-1207 (toll-free).