The death of Aklavik elder Hugh Papik is bringing national attention to the NWT healthcare system. Papik passed away last August after suffering a stroke that was mistaken for drunkenness.
A report released last fall is suggesting sixteen changes that need to be made to improve healthcare in the NWT.
“Changing attitudes and beliefs and the way business is done in the health system that’s been ingrained for generations is going to take a bit of time but I am committed to doing that work and seeing change.” – Glen Abernethy, Minister of Health and Social Services.
Mackenzie Delta MLA Sonny Blake Junior proposed a patient advocate position that would include local voices in the discussions on healthcare. Abernethy responded by offering a different solution.
“We’re not planning to do a pilot of a patient advocate in any community. The quality assurance positions are also patient representatives so they have a double role. Over the last couple of months it has become clear to me that having those two positions as a single position probably isn’t the best way to do business here in the Northwest Territories.” – Glen Abernethy, Minister of Health and Social Services.
Abernathy says that the federal government is providing funding for a patient navigator for the Inuvialuit region, which will be further discussed in May.