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Staffing shortage affecting NWT health system, ICU capacity reduced

Between now and the end of September, the NWT health and social services system may experience reduced staffing capacity, according to Health Minister Julie Green.

Green says this is being driven by a combination of difficulties in recruitment, a highly competitive job market for healthcare professionals, and vacancies caused by departures or retirements.

She says the NTHSSA are working diligently to close any gaps in staffing before they impact services.

“Where this is not possible, any service reductions or closures will be communicated proactively to staff and the public if and when they occur,” she adds.

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Service reductions will be communicated locally to the public and stakeholders by email notices on an as-needed basis.

As of August 9th, Stanton Territorial Hospital has reduced ICU capacity due to staffing.

Green says while there are no current impacts to patients admitted to Stanton, if there are more than two critical level patients at Stanton, they may be either diverted to Alberta before admission or stabilized and moved to Alberta when able.

“Patients requiring critical care would often transfer south for treatment that is not able to be offered in the NWT, this service reduction may generate transfers sooner or more often than usual,” she adds.

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