Rocky Simpson, MLA for Hay River South, learned in the Legislative Assembly Friday that Hay River will be receiving half of the 48 long-term care beds originally slated for the community.
Simpson said that residents in his riding “became excited, and not in a good way” when they learned of the new projection for beds needed in the territory. He sought clarification as 48 beds were still included in the capital spending for the community.
Julie Green, Health and Social Services minister, responded by saying Hay River will now be receiving 24 beds, with the other 24 going to Fort Smith “where there is a need for more long-term care.”
“The over-arching goal here is to help people age in place,” she said.
“Obliviously we want people from Fort Smith to age in Fort Smith if they can, rather than Hay River.”
The health minister was unable to specify at the time if this will affect the staffing numbers, but said that resources in the community will be directed towards in-home care.
“There will be more home-care resources required in Hay River and in other communities in the NWT and the department is planning for that by entering into a partnership with Aurora College to enhance training of personal support workers,” Green said.
Green revealed Thursday that new projections based on data from the NWT Bureau of Statistics shows the territory will need less than half of the long-term care beds originally projected in 2015.