Health Services for Evacuees Q&A
Call 811 (1-888-315-9257 in Manitoba) and self-identify as an NWT resident in the province or territory you are in. 811 will help answer your questions or connect you to the closest health facility for assessment.
Call 811 Immediately:
- If you are bitten or scratched by an animal, or if you had direct contact with a bat.
- If you or a family member is exposed to or told you were exposed to a communicable disease like chicken pox, measles, pertussis, or meningitis.
Call 811 as soon as possible:
- If you were told by someone that you were exposed by them to a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or have signs and symptoms suggestive of an STI, you may have an STI and are presently or may be pregnant, or you have any questions about STI treatment and sexual health care while out of the NWT.
- if you were receiving treatment for or had planned follow up for an STI in NWT and have not been contacted by a healthcare provider while evacuated.
- If your baby is due for their first vaccines, you have concerns about your baby or child’s growth, development, ability to feed, and/or need some support.
- If you received public health care and have any follow up questions.
It is recommended to continue with your childhood vaccination schedule. If you would like your child to get vaccinated while out of the NWT, call 811 to find out where the local public health is. NWT providers will help you catch up to any missed or delayed vaccines, if needed, when you return home. Keep records of what vaccines were administered, and if possible, follow the NWT immunization schedule found here: immunization-schedule-general-public.pdf (gov.nt.ca)
If you do obtain health services, try to get a record of any treatment, medication, or immunizations received while out of the NWT to give to your local public health provider, community health centre, or primary care provider upon return to NWT.
Evacuation Centres may have a health service representative on site who can support in setting up appointments.
Remember to bring your 3rd party insurance card to any appointment, such as your Treaty Card, Inuit N Number, Alberta Blue Cross, or any other employee benefits card along with valid ID.
The services I am receiving in the location I evacuated to are different than home, what can I do about this?
NWT residents who are evacuated to other provinces or territories are now considered patients/clients of those health and social services systems. Not all services will be the same, wait times may be different than in a small community health centre, and some services may require that you pay out of pocket and recover the cost from your insurer if you are covered (such as eye exams, for example).
The NWT health and social services system is working to provide information so residents know how to access services in the location they have evacuated into. NWT health and social services providers are not actively providing care and services outside of the NWT with the exception of services focused on a few small groups of vulnerable individuals (for example patients in late pregnancy, dialysis patients, chemotherapy patients). Any care and services required for general evacuees will be coordinated by the receiving location.
Over the course of this evacuation the focus of the NWT health and social services system will be providing care and services to those who remain in the NWT. We encourage residents who are evacuated to check www.nthssa.ca/wildfire for the latest updates on services for evacuees or to call NWT 811 (outside the NWT dial 1-844-259-1793) for information on programs, services, and evacuee supports.
For a list of online or phone-based mental wellness supports, please visit www.nthssa.ca/wildfire. Additionally, your evacuation center may provide in-person mental wellness support. We encourage you to inquire with the centre's staff for more information.
With primary care services in Yellowknife closed and multiple communities under evacuation, an alternate process for requesting prescription refills for evacuated individuals is being put in place. Any resident of the NWT who is impacted by the evacuations can use this service.
Your regular pharmacy may be able to transfer your prescription from your home location to your current evacuation location, so please try this first, you can find details about NWT pharmacy processes here (www.nthssa.ca/wildfire). If you are an Alberta Blue Cross member, you can find information about services related to prescriptions here.
You can access dental services from the following sources depending on your eligibility:
- For First Nations or Inuit individuals, contact Express Scripts Canada at 1-855-618-6291. They have lists of providers that can direct bill, and they can also provide you with your Treaty or Inuit N number, which is necessary for accessing non-insured services. You can also reach out to Non-Insured Health Benefits – Northern Region at 1-888-332-9222, NIHB Navigator at 1-867-777-7024 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or the Manager of Non-Insure Health Benefits at 1-867-678-8050 ext. 49680 or email@example.com for assistance.
- If you are a senior, Métis, or eligible for the Specified Disease Program, you can contact Alberta Blue Cross at 1-800-361-9632. They can confirm your plan member numbers and benefit eligibility. You can also get in touch with the Manager of Health Care Services at 1-867-678-8050 ext. 49655 or firstname.lastname@example.org for further assistance.
- If you have workplace insurance, you should contact your insurance provider directly for information on accessing dental benefits.
Emergency Dental Services for NWT Evacuees in Alberta:
NWT residents in Calgary or Red Deer can access emergency dental care through Alberta Health Services, designed for low-income individuals. Public Health Dental Clinics in Calgary, including Sheldon Chumir and Sunridge Medical Gallery, offer emergency care with 12 chairs and at least two dentists available five days a week. The mobile dental clinic "Alex Bus" also provides screenings and limited dental work, referring emergencies as needed. Evacuees can expect assistance regardless of their permanent residency status. For more information, visit https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/services/Page13202.aspx.
Covered services may include check-ups, cleanings, fillings, extractions, root canals, crowns, dentures, and orthodontics. Prior approval is recommended for all dental services.
For information on coverage:
- First Nations or Inuit individuals can connect with Express Scripts Canada at 1-855-618-6291. Additionally, support is available through the Non-Insured Health Benefits – Northern Region at 1-888-332-9222, NIHB Navigator at 1-867-777-7024, or via email at email@example.com. You can also reach out to the Manager of Non-Insured Health Benefits at 1-867-678-8050 ext. 49680 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you are a senior, Métis, or eligible for the Specified Disease Program, you can contact Alberta Blue Cross at 1-800-361-9632. You can also get in touch with the Manager of Health Care Services at 1-867-678-8050 ext. 49655 or email@example.com for further assistance.
- If you have workplace insurance, you should contact your insurance provider directly for information on accessing dental benefits.
If you are a client that normally receives IV therapy at Stanton Territorial Hospital, providers will contact you. We are currently working through the list of clients who have appointments in the next 1-2 weeks and will be contacting individuals with the nearest appointment dates first.
I need my medical records, how can I get them?
The NTHSSA has provided Alberta, British Columbia and Manitoba with a process for requesting medical records should any NWT resident present for care and records be required to inform decisions. If you require care, simply go to the most appropriate location in the place you are staying while evacuated and records will be requested if needed.
Any resident can request their medical records. Due to the expected volume of requests, we will prioritize requests for information that are necessary for urgent or direct patient care. We will attempt to respond to requests that are urgent within 1 business day. Requests for less urgent needs (eg – not related to immediate care, insurance claims unrelated to evacuation orders and others) will be attended to as quickly as we are able, but there may be delays.
You may not need to request your health records, NTHSSA has shared a process for requesting records to Alberta, British Columbia and Manitoba, your provider may request your records on your behalf.
Requests for client health records for pregnant persons displaced by NWT evacuations can be made via Fax: 867-777-8016 or by e-mail Healthrecords_IRH@gov.nt.ca, even if your home community is not Inuvik. If you have a phone number, please also provide this in your fax or email so that a Health Records specialist can connect with you if they need to clarify your request.
If possible, please complete the following form if you are requesting your own information.
HOWEVER, if you are unable to complete this form and you are requesting your own information, we are still able to help you to access your health information.
You can also request that the person providing health services in your current location make a request on your behalf. Instructions for health professionals requesting information can be found here.
Due to the expected volume of requests, we will prioritize requests for information that are necessary for urgent or direct patient care. We will attempt to respond to requests that are urgent within 1 business day. Requests for less urgent needs (eg – not related to immediate care, insurance claims unrelated to evacuation orders and others) will be attended to as quickly as we are able, but there may be delays.
If you are in the NWT seeking abortion services, you can contact your local health centre who will help navigate and refer.
If you are evacuated from the NWT and you want to access abortion services, there are a number of options available to you.
For those in designated evacuation cities, abortion services can be accessed locally at the following places:
- In Edmonton: Woman’s Health Options
- Phone: 780-484-1124
- Website: womanshealthoptions.com
- In Calgary: Kensington Clinic
- Phone: 403-283-9117
- Website: kensingtonclinic.com
- In Winnipeg: Women’s Health Clinic:
- Phone: 204-477-1887 or toll-free at 1-866-947-1517
- Website: womenshealthclinic.org
For services in other cities, information can be accessed via the National Abortion Federation (NAF):
- Online listing of providers: https://prochoice.org/patients/find-a-provider/?fwp_country_search=canada
- NAF helpline at 1-800-772-9100 – note that this goes to a central registration center in the United States, where they will collect contact information and pass on to a Canadian service provider.
If you do not have your NWT health care card with you, contact the Health Services Administration Office by phone (1-800-661-0830 or 867-678-8050) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a verification letter. The letter will confirm that you have valid NWT health care coverage.
Health Services Administration Office hours of operation: 8:30 am – 12:00 pm, 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm (Monday to Friday)
NIHB clients can call Express Scripts Canada to access their benefit information at 1-888-511-4666.
Alberta Blue Cross clients can access their benefit information by calling 1-800-361-9632.
The NWT Health Care Plan covers basic hospital and medical treatment. This means that anyone with a valid NWT Health Care Card can go to a hospital, health centre or medical clinic for treatment and will not have to pay for medically necessary health services.
In locations outside the NWT, you may need to pay to access some services you did not have to pay for at home. This includes things like eye exams, audiology exams and out-patient physio and occupational therapy.
NIHB has provided evacuation centres with lists of service providers that will bill directly to NIHB to assist clients in accessing services. These lists include Drug & Medical Equipment, Vision Care, Dental Care and Mental Health.
Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) has provided a link where they are gathering information on supports for NIHB clients who were evacuated. Please see the information published by ISC here.
NIHB, Alberta Blue Cross and other employee benefits cover many non-insured services, such as dental services, prescription medication, medical equipment, eye exams and eyeglasses.
NIHB has provided lists of service providers who direct bill to many evacuation centres. By receiving services with one of these vendors, clients will not have to pay for the service.
For those who do not have NIHB, ABC or employee benefits you will be responsible for the cost of the service. If you have private insurance, you may be able to claim some expenses back.
How do I get reimbursed if I am charged for accessing health services in another province or territory?
If you find yourself needing to pay for services or prescriptions that you wouldn't typically have to pay for at home, contact your health care plan insurance provider to request reimbursement.
See below for information related to health services in Alberta, British Columbia, and Manitoba.
- British Columbia
- BC Health Services
- Call 604-875-4953 for information on receiving health care in B.C.
- Manitoba Health Services
Accessing Participating Pharmacies:
While we are unable to provide an official list of participating pharmacies that can direct bill for services, you can use the "locate a provider" feature on their official website to find pharmacies that are capable of direct billing. Simply visit the Alberta Blue Cross provider directory here. Once there, select your specific benefit category (pharmacy or dental) and choose the relevant province. This will display a list of direct-bill providers in your chosen province.
Contacting Alberta Blue Cross for Assistance:
Should you require more assistance or need information regarding your plan details, you can reach out to Alberta Blue Cross directly by calling 1-800-361-9632. Their representatives are available to provide further guidance and address any concerns you may have.
Important Note about Quebec:
It's important to note that while Alberta Blue Cross facilitates direct billing for most provinces, there might be limitations when it comes to Quebec. Direct billing for medications and services may not be available in Quebec.
For evacuees in Alberta who require Home Care services, please contact the Access Centre for the zone you are in. To view the Alberta Health Services Zone Map, click here.
If home care services are required, clients should contact the appropriate zone’s Continuing Care Access. Telephone numbers are as follows:
- Calgary Zone: 403-943-1920 (General enquiries)
- Central Zone: 1-855-371-4122
- Edmonton Zone: 780-496-1300
- North Zone: 1- 855-371-4122
- South Zone: Home Care Services | Alberta Health Services
Who do parents call to inquire about their children who have evacuated and under the care of the director of Child and Family Services?
- For Foster Caregivers in Fort Smith 8:30am to 5:00pm please contact 867-444-3242 and for after hours emergencies 867-621-1122
- For Foster Caregivers in Yellowknife 8:30am to 5:00pm please contact 867-445-6303 and after hours emergencies 867-445-1092
- For Caregivers in Tlicho 8:30am to 5:00pm please contact 867-392-3005 and after hours emergencies 867-686-2500
- For Caregivers in Hay River please contact at any time 867-874-2696 or 867-875-7012