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Nine out of 10 in the NWT are happy with their healthcare

A survey of patients in the Northwest Territories suggests nine out of 10 are happy with the healthcare they receive.

The survey, conducted in July and August 2014 and published late last week, had 1,775 responses across the territory.

Of those respondents, 92% said the level of care they received was excellent or good. Just 2% delivered a verdict of poor or very poor.

Furthermore, 90% said they found it easy to access services and 93% were happy with the attitude of staff treating them.

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“Overall, the results were favourable,” said health minister Glen Abernethy, pictured.

“Although we continue to struggle with poor health outcomes in the Northwest Territories, we’ve got great staff and we’re running great programs.

“We have our challenges, of course we do. But there are good things happening.”

In full: 2014 NWT patient survey (pdf)

Abernethy did highlight concerns: for example, too few respondents – 68% – reported being asked about the medication they were taking.

“The one I find most troubling is only 51% of people indicated that their healthcare provider discussed options to quit smoking,” added Abernethy.

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“Now, I know not every resident in the NWT smokes, but we want to make sure we’re continually promoting the value in not smoking. That’s an area we need to continue to push.”

Meanwhile, it appears the survey struggled to engage Yellowknifers.

Residents of the city were poorly represented – while Yellowknife Health and Social Services represents 49% of the NWT’s population, its patients accounted for just 9% of survey responses.

“It’s unfortunate,” said Abernethy. “We need to do more in Yellowknife.”

Read: Health in the NWT: We get a D-minus but we’re not complaining

Abernethy also told Moose FM he intends to run for re-election as an MLA this fall, but he stopped short of suggesting he would like to retain the health portfolio.

“I’ve still got a significant amount of work to do in the role that I have today,” he said.

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“I intend to run again. I’m hopeful that residents of the Great Slave riding will continue to support me.

“If I’m fortunate enough to be re-elected, I will certainly pursue cabinet once again, but it’s too early to tell. The department is very busy and that’s got to be my priority.”

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