Staff shortage causing service reductions across NWT health care

Stanton Territorial Hospital. (File photo/CKLB)

Ongoing staff shortages in the NWT’s health care system is causing service reductions across the territory.

Three health centres in the Sahtú have moved to emergency-only services for the next month or so.

The health centres in Tulita and Norman Wells will only be available for emergencies until Aug. 31. In Fort Good Hope, the health centre will be emergency-only until Sept. 11.

Midwifery in Behchokǫ̀ 

Midwifery services in Behchokǫ̀ have been cut significantly since July 28.

A notice from the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority says there will only be “a limited number of visits in August.”

NTHSSA expects the service reduction to last until October.

Reduced operating rooms into next year

Finally, reduced operation services will continue at Stanton Territorial Hospital until at least next January.

NTHSSA says the unit will continue at half-capacity for scheduled surgeries with a second operating room on stand-by for emergencies.

For now, NTHSSA says it doesn’t expect any cancellations.

Wait times for people needing surgeries that are less serious are likely to increase, however, NTHSSA says urgent and cancer-related surgeries will continue as normal.

Overall, NTHSSA says the cut in services is caused by a lack of specialized health staff, especially nurses, across the NWT.

About the Author

Francis Tessier-Burns
Francis has been a general news reporter with CKLB since January 2019. Originally from rural Ontario, he first came to the NWT in 2016 as an intern with Up Here magazine and fell in love with the North. In his time with CKLB, he's had the immense pleasure and honour of learning about northern Indigenous cultures. Otherwise, you can find him hanging around the Legislative Assembly. If you have a story or want to chat, reach out to francis@cklbradio.com