FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 28, 2023
WHITEHORSE – Once again, rural Yukoners are being left behind by the territorial Liberals. On Thursday, the government announced on Facebook that the Ross River Health Centre will be closed for almost a month starting on Friday, September 29.
This is the second time in three months that the Ross River Health Centre has been closed for an extended period. Rolling health centre closures this summer have had services reduced in Destruction Bay, Pelly Crossing, Mayo, Teslin, and Beaver Creek.
“We saw the first rural health centre service closures in May,” said Pelly-Nisutlin MLA Stacey Hassard, whose riding includes Ross River and Teslin. “October is around the corner, and these closures are still taking place. The minister and this government need to address these shortages in rural Yukon not only for people to access timely health care, but for the overall public safety of our communities.”
The Yukon Party Official Opposition is increasingly becoming appalled about the reduction of health services in rural Yukon. Despite multiple suggestions from the Yukon Party to address the closures, the Liberal Health Minister has not taken effective action. Those suggestions include championing the development of a new health human resources strategy that improves recruitment and retention and helps Yukon citizens become trained as health professionals. For over six years, the Liberals dismissed calls for the development of this much-needed strategy.
The Yukon Party Official Opposition is also concerned over the way rural health centre closures are being announced, as not everyone has access to social media and the internet. We are asking that the Liberal government issue press releases announcing the closures, in addition to social media. This would ensure more widespread traditional media coverage, and further help ensure all affected Yukoners are informed.
Despite the shocking deterioration of services in rural Yukon, Kate White and the NDP continue to prop up this ineffective Liberal government. In return for the support, the NDP benefits from over a quarter-million dollars of direct funding from cabinet to their caucus annually.