(Fort Smith – July 29, 2023) The Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority (NTHSSA) is providing notice to the public about impending actions being taken out of an abundance of caution related to ongoing wildfire activity in the Fort Smith area.
- In-patient admissions are suspended until further notice; any new patients who need to be admitted will be transported to Stanton or another hospital, depending on their condition. Transport will be coordinated through the normal channels of medevac or scheduled flights depending on the patient’s condition.
- Residents living in the Northern Lights Special Care home will be moved to Hay River as a precautionary measure. Next-of-kin as identified on client medical records will be notified with details.
- The Fort Smith Health centre remains open for outpatient and emergency services, however services may be reduced at any time if required to assist with response activities, notice will be provided if services are reduced.
Large patient moves require resources in multiple communities as well as territorial resources such as MedResponse and other logistical supports. Taking this action now will minimize stress on these resources. We emphasize that the measures in Fort Smith are precautionary and are being taken to ensure resources are available to undertake a complex move of long-term care patients.
Health and social services system resources are being taxed by ongoing evacuation response efforts. Staff within the system continue to support the core services residents in each community depend on in addition to delivering services for individuals evacuated from Behchoko, including placements in alternate long-term-care spaces in the territory and those accessing the evacuation reception centre in Yellowknife and other health and social services in the capital.
Any further changes to health and social services operations or emergency response efforts on behalf of the NTHSSA will be communicated via public notice issued at www.nthssa.ca and via social media channels. For the most current information on available services please contact the health centre.