(July 14, 2022 – Yellowknife) - Northwest Territories residents are being notified that operating room services at Stanton Territorial Hospital will be reduced starting July 25, 2022, through September 30, 2022.
This reduction, which will see capacity go from regular operation of two operating rooms Monday-Friday to one operating room, this will reduce capacity by approximately 50% of regularly scheduled surgical volumes. The second operating room will be reserved for emergency cases only, with capacity for these being maintained throughout the reduction.
Stanton’s operating room services are scheduled for their regular summer closure from August 2 through 12, and surgeries are normally only scheduled 2-3 weeks in advance. There may be a small number of individuals who have their procedures deferred, but a large number of cancellations are not expected. Individuals who are awaiting surgery, but who are not yet scheduled, for issues that are less acute or urgent are expected to have a longer wait than normal.
This closure is happening due to lower than normal staffing for nurses in this specialized area. Post-pandemic recruitment, especially in specialized areas, has become extremely challenging, and Stanton is facing a shortage of operating room trained nurses during this period. Reducing services will allow for continued safe delivery of care while reserving capacity for urgent and emergent cases.
Previously it was announced that the NTHSSA would be experiencing low staffing levels throughout the summer months, that service reductions and closures could be expected throughout the summer, and that these would be announced as soon as they were identified. This closure is happening in correlation with these previously identified staffing challenges.
The NTHSSA will continue to work to proactively identify service impacts and provide residents with notice of service changes with as much advance notice as possible. As always; residents can check the status of service levels at www.nthssa.ca/service-levels.