The NWT health and social services system continues to face pressures and service impacts related to a shortage of skilled workers in the NWT and across the country. Efforts continue to close staffing gaps through hiring of full-time residents, locum, casual and agency staff. There is also work ongoing to enhance local training opportunities, and implement immediate operational solutions to minimize staffing risks, and longer term work towards sustainable staffing.
To ensure NWT residents have the information they need to understand service levels, the NTHSSA will continue to work to proactively identify service impacts and provide residents with notice of service changes. As always; residents can check the status of service levels at www.nthssa.ca/service-levels
Stanton Operating Room reduction of service extended through January 2023.
Northwest Territories residents are being notified that the reduction in operating room services at Stanton Territorial Hospital will be extended through January 3, 2023
This service reduction 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.
Stanton’s operating rooms will continue to operate at 50% capacity for scheduled surgeries with a second operating suite on stand-by for emergency cases and opening as staffing is available on a day by day basis. As surgeries are generally only scheduled 2-3 weeks in advance, and with Stanton’s operating rooms currently undergoing their scheduled summer closure, 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 times than normal. Urgent, emergent, and cancer related surgeries continue as normal and are not currently impacted by this service reduction. Every effort will be made to monitor the priority lists and provide timely service for these cases.
NTHSSA continues to explore all options to staff this specialized area and has opened two developmental opportunities for local nurses to be trained through the Specialized Nursing Transition Program.
Sahtu Health Centre Service Reductions for August, 2022
A number of Sahtu Health Centres are moving to emergency services in August due to decreased staffing related to a reduction of available nurses in the communities. The following health centres are announcing extended emergency-only services:
- Tulita’s Harriet Gladue Health Centre, from August 8 through August 31.
- Norman Wells’ Sahtu Got’ine Regional Health and Social Services Centre, from August 2 through August 31
- Fort Good Hope’s Cassien Edgi Health Centre, from August 2 through September 11.
Emergency and urgent services remain available, residents who need care are asked to call or present to the health centre.
Midwifery Services Reduction for Behchoko
Beginning July 28 regular midwifery services have been reduced in Behchoko. It is expected there will be capacity for a limited number of visits in August.
Service resumption is expected in October 2022, with exact dates to be communicated to clients who may access these services.