Temporary closures of 5 health centres in new year: Nunavut Health Department

Arctic Bay, Igloolik, Kinngait, Pond Inlet and Resolute Bay health centres will experience closures, says GN

Arctic Bay’s health centre is one of five that will close for a period of time in the new year. (Photo by David Venn)

By Nunatsiaq News

Five Qikiqtaaluk communities will have their health centres temporarily close in the new year, says the Nunavut government’s Health Department.

Arctic Bay’s health centre will be closed from Jan. 4 to 10, Igloolik’s from Jan. 20 to Feb. 28, Kinngait’s from Jan. 25 to Feb. 28, Pond Inlet’s from Jan. 9 to Jan. 30 and Resolute Bay from Jan 1 to 6 and Jan. 12 to 28, according to a Friday press release from spokesperson Danarae Sommerville.

“The closures are a result of difficulty in securing relief staff due to a national shortage of healthcare professionals,” Sommerville wrote.

Sommerville said that the department is “aggressively pursuing recruitment efforts” to get the health centres back up and running.

While those health centres are closed, Sommerville said the department will bridge the gap by providing virtual health service, fly-in clinics and paramedic services.

If residents in Arctic Bay, Igloolik, Pond Inlet, Kinngait and Resolute Bay call the health centre while it’s closed, their call might be rerouted to another community, Sommerville said, asking that residents not hang up the phone if they are on hold.

If there is a life-threatening incident, paramedics will be able to provide emergency care, she said.

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(13) Comments:

  1. Posted by We all see why on

    The news always makes it sound like there are soooo many sick people and that is why the failing health care system is overwhelmed. This was never such a big issue until the ‘man.dates’ were in place. There should be a mass-forgiveness and back pay to health care professionals that were refused to do their jobs and get this whole system back on track

    • Posted by Northern mom on

      The system was overwhelmed well before Covid hit. The main difference is, there were always casuals and agency nurses to fall back on. Read the article. It specifies a nationwide staffing shortage. The Red Cross is helping at CHEO in Ottawa because of how overwhelmed the system is.

      The way nurses were (and are still) treated in the communities by senior management is actually a bigger reason why recruitment remains an issue. When you treat staff like they mean nothing, you wont keep them.

      • Posted by 867 on

        Cant forget the abuse they receive from patients too. No surprise Canada is losing boat loads of Nurses for better salary and working conditions in USA. Public Health care doesnt work.

        • Posted by Iqaluit Mom on

          Given the current state of healthcare in the USA, I can honestly say that Canadian nurses are NOT flocking there.

          However, I can also say that majority of the people I see quitting the public sector are flocking to private clinics. It is not because the public health system doesnt work, but because there is more money and less verbal abuse from both managers and patients.

    • Posted by yeah ok on

      you do realize that there were very few actual nurses that quit or were fired because they refused to follow mandates… that is just a load of propaganda, The issue is an overwhelmed system that was overwhelmed before the pandemic, the majority of heath professionals who quit did so because they were burnt out or tired of being mistreated…

      • Posted by Jennifer MacNab on

        As an RN working in Arctic Canada you are absolutely correct. The workload is overwhelming. It is often so much responsibility for too many patients that it is an accident waiting to happen

  2. Posted by 867 on

    Does anybody know what happened to the Kimmirut health center when the entire staff quit all at once due to an ‘incident’?

  3. Posted by Common sense solutions on

    I wonder if whoever is at the top in Health would consider getting rid of some of the problematic directors. I wonder if they even know that there was a purge around 3 years ago of several long-term experienced nurses with long ties to Nunavut, as probably a new young director or two didn’t like having people more knowledgable and experienced around (not that the directors were treated badly by the nurses, just that disagreements are inevitable when the nurses know more than the boss and need to point out things that the director is not considering in their decision making.)

    Getting rid of the old-timers accelerated the revolving door of new people who come and won’t stay as they are overwhelmed with the complicated, high-responsibility and high stress of the job, with little or no support.

    How are the paramedics working out, Directors? Handy for emergencies, but most of the job is community health and you need consistent capable nurses with an interest in long-term health, and a knowledge of the region’s sometimes strange GN systems, to keep things on course.

  4. Posted by Bob Lee on

    Wondering if most nurses are going to private sector? News has been circulating that Nova Scotia and other provinces private health clinics and hospitals has been hiring experienced nurses.

  5. Posted by Toonik’s Grandfather on

    Canadian health-care is falling apart. HELP

  6. Posted by Kyle Robinson on

    This isn’t surprising in the least… Just recently made the decision NEVER to return to Nunavut and work as a CHN. The Upper Management is corrupt beyond belief. It’s disgusting to see how they value their egos and friendships above integrity and service to the Inuit. They were on a campaign all year to terminate two of the most effective SHP’s in the Territory…why? It seems like any nurse who goes against the upper management by listening to the Inuit and pointing out processes that don’t work in Nunavut gets chopped. I got tired of watching this corruption and got out with license intact. Can’t say the same for others

    • Posted by Scrubs on

      I largely agree- we had the manager of the most effect mental health program in the territory turfed the first year I was up. I saw a lot of experienced nurses come up, and just…vanish because of the way they were treated.

      One LTC I was at, they put an application for the PSW position on the fridge door with the regional manager’s sneering remark: “Since nurses are picking up so many PSW shifts, they may as well apply for the job.” We were coming in because otherwise a nurse would be by themselves.

      I’ve met good SHPs, really awful SHPs, but consistently it’s at the regional/director level that things get screwed up, nurses get blacklisted for BS like ‘not wanting to drive someone to the airport after a 16 hour shift, even though there’s a driver on staff’.

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