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

The temporary closure of Arctic Bay’s health centre is the ninth health clinic closure in Nunavut this year, according to previous Health Department announcements. (File photo)

By Nunatsiaq News

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.


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(10) Comments:

  1. Posted by Are we a Failed State? on

    The tales of dysfunction never seem to end. Where is all this going?

  2. Posted by LOL on

    “Virtual Care”.
    Says everything about the continuing collapse of this Territorial Government.

    • Posted by Life in Nunavut on

      A virtual nightmare

  3. Posted by Baffled on

    There used to be a pool of experienced, long-term casual nurses in Baffin region. Too bad some insecure, inexperienced new directors who thought a bit too highly of their management skills pushed most or maybe all of them out around 3-4 years ago.

    News flash to middle and upper management in health: You don’t fly up the hierarchy because you are awesome, you are there because the experienced and capable nurses stay in the clinics, doing the real work and looking after the public. That is, until you decided you wouldn’t let them do it any more, pushing them out and preferring to hire new people who would not be able to tell that you don’t know what you are doing, so that you can keep feeling powerful and not at all uncomfortable.

  4. Posted by monty sling on

    too bad, most of the time you cannot even understand medical direction given to you verbally. back to the future were nurse was a nurse…

  5. Posted by Hunter on

    Flex working trial by fire.

    Hey if the Government can provide medical services remotely without any major issues in theory all government positions would be able to do this.

  6. Posted by Free some housing units!!! on

    If virtual work can happen with front-line Healthcare, it’s time this government frees up housing units for Nunavummiut and allow all the office workers like finance officers to work virtually and give Inuit a housing unit to call home!!!! There is absolutely no point to stretch the housing system with positions that should be done virtually.

    • Posted by Hinterland Who’s Who on

      frontline health care work can not be done virtually. That it is here is a band aid solution, not a serious path forward.

  7. Posted by hermann kliest on

    The Minister of this problem (situation?) appears to have his handful. I wouldn’t want to be in his shoes nor travel to Iglulik, so Minister I would advise you not to travel anytime soon (lol). But why do someone wants Arviat kick out of Nunavut because of one man. Some small impossible minds.

  8. Posted by Mass Formation on

    An electrical issue at a Nunavut water filtration plant is an all out Nunavut Government emergency.

    While the second closing, nine closings of Nunavut health centers in total are just MEH.

    The firing of competent health workers and nurses if they questioned the top health-line and said no.

    Helped to stampede the competent to retire, quit and run away from applying for Nunavut jobs. Because they’ll have no voice no matter how much they care about health, work the grueling long hours, they’ll still be just a MEH.

    The dream of Nunavut was to decentralize power and openly discuss all sides of an issue without censorship of speech..

    Now it is to be fired if have a different opinion. A better way to do things or facts pushing back the top dog non-stop Pinocchio lines. As if the Nunavut government is following an incompetent health crashing plan. Dictatorship style.

    Nunavut dream has flipped into totalitarian nightmare, cementing rapidly into place.


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