Fort Smith (January 6th 2023) – Starting January 10th, 2022, midwifery services – delivered by the local Midwifery Program – in Fort Smith will be reduced to primary care or emergency-only services as depending on staffing levels in the community. Birthing services in the community will not be available during this service reduction; patients who would normally give birth in Fort Smith will be diverted to Yellowknife. This change is being put in place due to staffing levels and an inability to secure a continued level of two midwives who are fully oriented to the facilities and program in Fort Smith.
From January 10th onward the following service levels are expected:
- January 10 – 18: Emergency Services On-Call. Midwifery Primary Care services 9:00 am – 5:00pm weekdays
- January 18 – February 1: Midwifery Primary Care services only 9:00 am – 5:00pm weekdays. During this period if clients require emergency care they should seek assistance through the Fort Smith Emergency Department.
- February 1 – until further notice: Emergency Services On-Call. Midwifery Primary Care services 9:00 am – 5:00pm weekdays
Residents in Fort Smith who are expecting to give birth after January 10 will be communicated with directly regarding details of the change in their location for birthing services.
Generally people who are pregnant and will give birth in a community outside their home community travel before or during their 37th week of gestation. This means that individuals will spend between 3-5 weeks on average in the location where they will give birth. Regular medical travel supports will be provided to impacted individuals.
The NTHSSA continues to work to recruit Midwives to support the services delivered in Fort Smith and is working to coordinate the redeployment of resources from within the system to support this program during this period. Program resumption to full services will be dependent on recruitment and orientation of Midwives to support these services.
Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority
TEL: 867-767-9107 ext. 40150