Nursing scarcity results in short-term closures at Nunavut health-care centres

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A nationwide health-care staffing scarcity seems to be affecting Nunavut significantly laborious.

The Nunavut authorities introduced on Friday it was quickly closing its two northernmost neighborhood well being centres for a part of the summer season resulting from a health-care staffing scarcity within the territory. Well being centres in 5 extra communities will even shut for a part of the summer season, besides to emergencies. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic and a nationwide scarcity of health-care employees have made the recruitment of nurses into the territory very troublesome,” Nunavut Well being Minister Lorne Kusugak stated in a information launch Friday.

“My division developed contingency plans that can permit continuity of well being companies in affected communities whereas aggressively pursuing recruitment efforts all through the summer season.”

A contract secured on March 23 with Bayshore Healthcare Company has averted much more closures, however that would change, the territory stated. The contract is about to supply nurse and midwifery companies to Nunavut.

Within the information launch, the territory stated that whereas the brand new partnership and hiring efforts over the previous few weeks have allowed the Division of Well being to keep away from additional summer season closures, if staffing ranges change, some closures could also be mandatory.

Lorne Kusugak, Nunavut’s well being minister, says the pandemic, mixed with a nationwide scarcity of healthcare employees has made recruiting nurses to the territory ‘very troublesome.’ (Beth Brown/CBC)

The discharge stated the Division of Well being is working with authorities and territorial companions to ensure Nunavummiut have entry to well being care whereas it really works to handle the shortages.

The plan is to supply digital well being, fly-in clinics and paramedic companies to shoppers as an alternative in areas the place there are centre closures.

Delays to be anticipated

Requires well being companies could also be robotically forwarded to different communities, the discharge stated, and “callers are requested to not grasp up if there are delays whereas the decision is connecting.”

Companies, like prescription fillings, will proceed to be provided from help employees, however Nunavummiut in affected communities are reminded there may very well be delays there, too.

Digital public well being employees, paramedics and different well being employees will assist with the territory’s response to COVID-19, together with serving to with testing and conducting contact tracing and monitoring, the federal government stated. 

Vaccines will even nonetheless be accessible by appointment and will likely be administered by paramedics or a licensed nurse practitioner.

The service reductions or closures may change based mostly on employees availability.

The affected well being centres set for closures embrace:

  • Grise Fiord Well being Centre: Closure projected to start in mid-August.
  • Resolute Bay Well being Centre: Closure projected to start in mid-August.

Well being centres closed besides to emergency companies embrace:

  • St. Therese’s Well being Centre in Kugaaruk: Aug. 1-15.
  • Judy Hill Memorial Well being Centre in Taloyoak: July 30 to Aug. 13.
  • Clyde River Well being Centre: Aug. 9-24.
  • Sanikiluaq Well being Centre: July 26 to Aug. 31.
  • Naujaat Well being Centre: Aug. 12-31.



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