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A basic policy question is: How can health services prevent illness from occurring, rather than simply treating illness once it occurs?


Preventive health programs in Manitoba address two of the three indicators chosen for this study:


Childhood immunizations - Manitoba Immunization Monitoring System (MIMS) records childhood immunizations of Manitoba residents whether they are provided by a physician or public health nurse. MIMS can measure the proportion of immunizations completed by certain ages in specific birth cohorts and of children who are up-to-date for their complete set of recommended schedules.


Mammography - The Manitoba Breast Screening Program both delivers and monitors breast screening throughout the province. Reminders are also sent to women having at least one visit for hypertension between 1996/97 and 1998/99


Breastfeeding - there is no formal program although several government-sponsored initiatives promote breastfeeding and natural nutrition as a way to ensure a healthy start for infants.