PUBLIC NOTICE - NTHSSA - Service Changes - March 19, 2020

(March 19, 2020) – In response to the COVID-19 pandemic the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority (NTHSSA) continues to adjust our operations. Our goal at this time is to ensure we have the right level of services in place to reserve and reallocate limited resources, protect vulnerable populations, and reduce unnecessary travel to reduce the potential for spread and exposure for our staff and the public.
Starting today:

ALL NWT RESIDENTS

  • Community health centres across the NWT will be on essential services; this means some services may not be available however: sick clinic, emergency care 24/7, immunizations, sexually transmitted infection (STI) screening, well child, and pre and post natal services remain available.
  • All non-urgent and non-emergent surgeries will be suspended until further notice
  • All rehabilitation travel clinics will be suspended until further notice.
  • In-person outpatient rehabilitation services will only be servicing the highest priority clients at this time, if your rehabilitation appointment (occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech language pathology and audiology) is impacted you will be contacted. Virtual care options may be provided.
  • The Beaufort Delta Colorectal Cancer screening pilot project will be suspended until further notice.
  • Ophthalmology appointments in Edmonton will be assessed by the receiving facility In Alberta and decisions regarding appointments going forward or being delayed will be made by the receiving facility.
  • We encourage any patient who is interested in switching their appointment to phone or video call options to contact the clinic to coordinate. Appropriate appointment types for phone or virtual care include things such as:
    • Chronic disease monitoring and management
    • Requests for screening or follow-up lab work
    • Mental health screens and follow-ups
    • Initial assessment of concerns about infections such as bladder infections and sexually transmitted infections
    • Initial assessment of minor respiratory symptoms like colds or sore throats
    • Initial assessment of gastrointestinal issues like constipation or diarrhea
    • Initial assessment of reproductive health concerns like menstrual period issues and birth control
    • Minor musculoskeletal injuries (sprains and strains)
    • All basic prescription requests: refills of any kind, physiotherapy, massage, etc

YELLOWKNIFE SPECIFIC ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • Walk-in type appointments in Yellowknife will be converted to same-day appointments, we are not reducing the number of appointments available. We ask that individuals call to secure appointments. If you present at the clinic you will be given a time for your appointment and asked to leave the premises until your appointment to maintain social distancing and reduce opportunities for potential spread. Our aim is to reduce congregation of individuals at clinic sites.
  • Yellowknife residents with flu like symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) must call public health at 867-767-9120 for appointments. A quick screening questionnaire will help determine if you should present to Primary Care, Stanton ER, or the off-site COVID-19 screening clinic.
  • Residents are asked to call public health to arrange appointments, and there will be no walk-in COVID related appointments. To avoid the risk of spread we have strict infection prevention and control processes in place and want to limit contact with potential cases, we will be directing individuals who need COVID-19 screening to a specific site for this service.
  • The Yellowknife Eye Clinic will be eliminating walk-in type appointments and deferring non-urgent care and services. If you have an urgent issue you can still secure an appointment by phoning the eye clinic at 867-873-3577.
  • At this time we are also asking the public to report if they are having issues with phone lines in reaching Yellowknife area clinics, particularly if you are put on hold and experience dropped calls. If you do get put on hold and experience a dropped call please email nthssafeedback@gov.nt.ca.

We are working to increase our capacity to accommodate appointments both for regular primary care services as well as testing related to COVID-19. Over the coming days we will have more information on service options.

As this situation continues to evolve the NTHSSA will continue to complete overarching reviews of services. Announcements about service-wide cancellations will be made on our website, www.nthssa.ca, and impacted patients who have appointments already booked will be contacted.