Staffing woes mean reduced health services in Yellowknife

A man walks away from the primary care clinic in Yellowknife in 2021. The Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority said Monday the lab collection site at the clinic would be closed until July 4. (Walter Strong/CBC)

Lab at primary care clinic closed until July 4

Some health services in Yellowknife are reduced and patients are being warned of longer wait times for appointments, as the N.W.T. continues to struggle with staffing issues.

In a news release on Monday, the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority said the lab collection site at the Yellowknife Primary Care Clinic was closed for the next two weeks. Regular services are expected to begin again on July 4.

The lab at the Stanton Territorial Hospital will remain open in the meantime.

The health authority is also warning of longer waits for scheduled primary-care appointments, and that patients “may find if 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,” the release says.

Advice for patients 

It says also says care providers are doing their best to serve people in a timely way, and asks that patients be respectful.

“This is especially important as our front-line staff report a recent increase in frustrated and aggressive verbal behaviours 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,” it says.

Patients are advised to call 811 when possible, for immediate advice from a registered nurse. They’re also asked to cancel appointments if they no longer need them or can’t make it, so that other patients can be booked instead.

The wait for a booked appointment is typically about six weeks, officials say.

Related stories from around the North: 

Canada: Quebec ups Nunavik nurse bonuses 20 per cent to help stem labour shortage, Eye on the Arctic

Greenland: Greenland to reduce services amidst staffing shortages in health care system, Eye on the Arctic

CBC News

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