Some families will soon be able to have their babies at Stanton Territorial Hospital once again.
The labour and delivery unit has been closed since Dec. 10 due to staff shortages. The unit is scheduled to open again on Feb. 21, but with reduced services.
Only families that already have one child, or have scheduled a Caesarean section will be able to go to Stanton.
Families expecting their first child and Nunavut residents will still need to go down to Edmonton.
The Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority (NTHSSA) says generally people that have already had a child need fewer pre-labour assessments, have quicker births and have a lower probability of complications.
These changes are planned to last until Mar. 31. NTHSSA estimates about 35 people will give birth at Stanton before then, while 20 people will have to go to Edmonton.
“Our intent is to be at full services after March 31, or sooner if possible, we will continue to monitor and focus on staffing during Phase 1 and if we can open sooner we will announce this,” says David Maguire, NTHSSA spokesperson. “Any full service resumption will be pending appropriate staffing and the COVID-19 situation and outlook in the NWT at the time.”
None of these changes affect services in Inuvik, Hay River or Fort Smith.