Yellowknife, NWT – Yellowknife Health and Social Services has defended the temporary closure of the city’s two walk-in clinics over the Easter Long Weekend.
Some members of the public and at least two MLA’s expressed concerns that a city of 20,000 people had only Stanton’s emergency department to go to for a day and a half.
Medical Director Doctor Ewan Affleck with Yellowknife Health and Social Services says the closures were necessary to update electronic medical records.
“We needed, for the purposes of territorial EMR project, to have a little downtime on the application in order to upgrade it so we chose Easter weekend because we’re closed on statutory holidays.”
We asked Doctor Affleck if the software upgrades could’ve been done so that both clinics weren’t closed at the same time.
“It’s not possible because the digital charting system is used by all services so if you shut it, it’s not the physical space staying open, it’s the actual software that had to be shut and both clinics use the same software so we couldn’t have it operating anywhere.”
Doctor Affleck says extra staff were on duty at Stanton.
He says he was on call and his phone didn’t ring all weekend.
He says the closures were communicated to the public through various means and nobody was adversely affected that’s he’s aware of.
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