Feds pledge nearly $86 million to improve Yukon health care

From left: MP Brendan Hanley, Yukon Health Minister Tracy-Anne McPhee, and federal Health Minister Mark Holland look at blueprints for the new Whitehorse walk-in clinic. It’s one of several initiatives that will receive federal funding announced on Tuesday. (Caitrin Pilkington/CBC)

By Caitrin Pilkington · CBC News

Some of funding to go toward new walk-in clinic opening next month in Whitehorse

Federal and territorial officials announced $85.8 million in health care spending in the Yukon.

The funding, announced at a news conference in Whitehorse on Tuesday, comes from three different bilateral agreements: $23.8 million through Working Together, $50 million through the Territorial Health Investment Fund, and $12 million through the Aging with Dignity Agreement.

Yukon MP Brendan Hanley, territorial Health Minister Tracy-Anne McPhee and federal Health Minister Mark Holland were present at the event, as well as various stakeholders.

“This is historic, and it represents a massive investment in the health system in the Yukon,” said Holland.

The cash is already flowing to Yukon health initiatives, and will continue to be distributed to a number of projects over the next five years, including a new walk-in clinic in Whitehorse.

The outside of the permanent new location of the Whitehorse walk-in clinic at the Mah’s Point building. (Caitrin Pilkington/CBC)

Officials also promised to support a number of initiatives that deal with addiction and mental health: a mobile opioid treatment services clinic, a residential managed alcohol withdrawal program, and a plan to expand the opening hours at the Whitehorse supervised consumption site.

They also pledged to offer land-based mental health and substance use treatment projects in collaboration with the Council of Yukon First Nations, and bring the Icelandic Prevention Model to the Yukon.

The Icelandic model addresses substance use by focusing on community solutions rather than targeting individual behaviours. Already in place in 31 countries around the world, it’s uniquely tailored to each area it is implemented, and relies on data and surveys from youth to identify issues that need to be addressed.

The majority of the $12 million allocated to senior-care spending will be going toward initiatives that support seniors remaining at home in their communities.

When asked if any of the funding will be allocated to long-term care beds, McPhee said the focus is to support aging in place.

Aim is more recruitment and better retention

The biggest chunk of spending, the $50 million that comes through the Territorial Health Investment Fund, will go toward establishing a Yukon health authority, staffing and digital health.

The aim is more recruitment and better retention, and a new digital health strategy that will streamline services and protect patient data.

Tuesday’s media event also included a tour of the permanent location for Whitehorse’s new walk-in clinic, on the ground floor of the Mah’s Point building. Some of the funding announced this week will go toward running the new facility.

It’s still being renovated, and officials promised the clinic would be up and running by next month.

Related stories from around the North: 

Canada: Yukon budget critics raise concerns over health care, rural land development, CBC News

Finland : Finland’s elder care needs funding boost to meet Nordic standards: researcher, Yle News

Sweden: Giving birth in a car: a real rural problem in Sweden, Radio Sweden

United States: Alarming number of patients at Alaskan psychiatric emergency room, Alaska Public Media

CBC News

For more news from Canada visit CBC News.

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

Leave a Reply

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.
Netiquette »

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *