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GNWT commits help to the KRHB

By NUNATSIAQ NEWS

IQALUIT — Keewatin residents might soon see some stability in health care delivery within their region.

The GNWT health department and the Keewatin Regional Health and Social Services board signed a letter of intent last week outlining what help the department is committed to giving the board.

The declining state of health care in the region came to public attention last month after the resignation of the board’s former chair, Betty Palfrey and the dismissal of its executive director, Jim Egan.

Health Minister Kelvin Ng, in signing the letter, commits to have officials from his department initiate and assist in the recruitment of a permanent executive director for the board.

Chris Keeley, a senior bureaucrat within the GNWT, was appointed interim executive director Feb 9. He’s expected to hold that job for about four months.

Health department officials will also develop recruiting and retention strategies for staff, giving particular attention to nurses and social workers.

GNWT staff will oversee the implementation of a communications plan and the management of plans to construct health centres in Arviat and Rankin Inlet.

Ng also committed to reviewing the organizational structure, including accountability, of the board, as well as looking at the possibility of re-opening contract talks with the University of Manitoba’s northern medical unit.

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