The Manitoba government is promising $200 million to ease the strain on the health-care system and add some 2,000 professionals to the front lines.

Premier Heather Stefanson says the plan includes pay incentives for weekend shifts and incentives for nurses who work full time.

The government is also going to cover licensing fees for two years for all licensed health-care professionals, and offer money to help medical clinics and doctors' offices expand their hours.

Health Minister Audrey Gordon says details of the payment amounts still have to be worked out.

She says the government aims to eliminate things such as mandatory overtime that nurses have faced.

Doctors Manitoba says it is encouraged by the plan, which it says is a sign the government has listened to recommendations

“We are encouraged to see the Manitoba government adopting several of the recommendations we have submitted to recruit and retain more doctors,” said Dr. Candace Bradshaw, president, Doctors Manitoba. “Our team is ready to work together with provincial officials to support the rapid implementation of these actions. This will mean physicians get more support and resources and, in turn, more patients can access the care they need.”

Manitoba Nurses Union also weighed in on the announcement.

“We view this announcement as a very necessary and positive first step in addressing the significant recruitment and retention issues for Manitoba’s nurses,” said Darlene Jackson, president, Manitoba Nurses Union. “We will always work diligently and share our ideas and approaches to get our health-care system back to where it needs to be. Nurses are problem solvers and we are anxious to develop and see the implementation of further effective measures to solve the many challenges of our nursing human resource crisis.”