Nunavummiut told to expect health centre closures, service cuts this summer
Health Department spokesperson cites ‘difficulty’ procuring summer relief staff
Health centres in several Nunavut communities will see closures or service reductions this summer.
The territorial Health Department is having “difficulty” shoring up summer relief staff, according to a news release from the department, which points to an ongoing national shortage of health-care professionals.
Health Department spokesperson Chris Puglia did not say which health centres will be affected, or give approximate timelines for closures and service reductions, calling the situation “fluid.”
“It depends on staffing,” he said in an email.
The news release said communities will be notified of health centre closures through radio or social media two weeks before they occur.
A combination of virtual health services, fly-in clinics and paramedic services will be available for communities where a health centre is closed or has reduced services.
“Calls will continue to go to the health centres and be directed to virtual support services,” the release stated.
“Calls may be automatically forwarded to other communities. There may be a delay during this time, but callers are recommended not to hang up.”
People with prescriptions are advised to make sure all refills are taken care of before closures happen, the release noted.
Last summer, two health centres closed for a time and six others operated with reduced services due to the shortage of nurses.