Arctic Bay health centre closing for second time in 6 months
Closure is temporary; paramedics will remain on site and virtual care is available, GN advises
Arctic Bay’s health centre has been temporarily closed until further notice due to a staffing shortage, the Health Department announced Wednesday.
It said paramedics will still be on site to provide care for urgent or life-threatening situations, and virtual care services will be available.
It noted service levels and closures could change, based on staffing levels.
Calls to the health centre will be directed to virtual support services and may be forwarded to other communities, the release said. There may be a delay, but callers are recommended not to hang up.
Support staff will be available by phone to assist with services such as getting prescriptions filled and medical travel. For prescriptions, the department advises people get them between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.
The recent announcement brings the total temporary closures for 2023 to nine.
According to previous Health Department announcements, five Qikiqtaaluk community health centres, including Arctic Bay, were temporarily closed for several weeks earlier this year and three more temporary closures were announced after that.
In March, several MLAs raised concerns over the state of health centres in their communities in the legislative assembly. At the time, Health Minister John Main said staffing shortages are the primary reason for short-term closures.
Health centres across Nunavut require an entire complement of staff to provide the full services and programs communities need, he said.