PUBLIC NOTICE: Service Update for Yellowknife Primary Care and Downtown Outpatient Lab

Public Notice

(Yellowknife – June 19, 2023) – The Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority is advising residents of service level impacts in the Yellowknife Region due to ongoing staffing challenges within the health and social services system. 

Lab Services at Yellowknife Primary Care

The Yellowknife Primary Care Clinic (YPCC) laboratory collection site will be closed for service from June 19 – 30, 2023.

During this closure, the laboratory at the Stanton Territorial Hospital will continue to be available from 8:00 AM – 3:30 PM, Monday through Friday, excluding the upcoming statutory holiday on June 21, 2023. 
Regular services at YPCC laboratory site are expected to resume on Tuesday, July 4, 2023 and will be available from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM, Monday through Friday.  Diagnostic imaging services will continue to only be available at Stanton Territorial Hospital throughout the closure and afterward. 

Primary Care Services, Yellowknife

While primary care services continue to operate, those looking to book appointments may experience longer than normal waits to book scheduled appointments and may find it challenging to book with their provider of preference. This is expected to continue through the summer months as staffing levels remain low and coverage continues to be difficult to find. 

We understand that reduced appointment availability can lead to individuals feeling frustrated and we apologize for this in advance.  However, we do ask the public to engage with staff in a respectful manner; recognizing that the people working to provide care and services are doing their best to serve everyone in a timely and respectful manner. This is especially important as our front-line staff report a recent increase in frustrated and aggressive verbal behaviors directed at them as they carry out their duties, which has a significant impact on our ability to recruit and retain qualified staff to serve the public.

There are things residents can do to help, including:

  • Calling 811 as a first-line of information, sometimes over-the-phone advice from a registered nurse may be enough to address your concerns
  • Reducing the amount of no-shows by cancelling appointments that are not needed or cannot be attended.  This will help providers use time more efficiently and see clients who have been waiting for an appointment sooner. From April 1 to May 31 there were 978 no-shows recorded between Yellowknife Primary Care and Frame Lake Community Health Clinic.
    • To cancel an appointment, please call the following:
      • Yellowknife Primary Care Centre: (867) 767-9294 and press “0” to speak to staff.
      • Frame Lake Community Health Centre: (867) 767-9125
  • Booking an appointment as soon as you know you need one; keeping in mind the wait for a booked appointment is often in the range of 6 weeks. 
  • Accessing same-day appointments for issues that need attention right away.
  • Treating each other and health and social services providers with respect when accessing care and services.