Manitoba has been advised not to implement some of the sweeping reforms proposed after the deaths of a dozen babies who had heart surgery at a Winnipeg hospital during 1994.

The recommendation to hold off came from an independent committee charged with implementing the proposals laid out by inquest judge Murray Sinclair, whose long-awaited report was released last year.

Sinclair said the deaths might have been prevented if the babies had received better treatment or had been sent to other provinces.

He said the presiding surgeon and his team did not have the skills for the job, and blamed the system for ignored the warning signs.

Thursday's report rejected several of Sinclair's reforms, including a new law protecting whistle-blowers. It said that might make it harder to recruit doctors.

It also rejected the idea of a simple patient-rights handbook in favour of a general guide to health services.

And it dismissed as "impractical" a suggestion that all future surgery candidates be observed before being hired.

In its report the committee noted that families of the dead children might object to their recommendations, saying it would "understand if some or all of the families felt that this report was not critical enough..."

The Manitoba government has given $100,000 compensation to each of the 12 families.

No reaction from the government or families so far.