FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 22, 2023
WHITEHORSE – On Thursday, the Liberal government announced the Pelly Crossing Health Centre would be reducing services starting Friday, September 22, lasting until Thursday, September 28 due to a staffing shortage. The notice says there will be no nurse in the community, and EMS can be called if health services are needed.
This is the second time over the past few months Pelly has seen a reduction in service. Other reductions took place in Destruction Bay and Mayo. Rolling closures of health centres in rural Yukon is one of several service reductions the territorial Liberals are making in communities.
“It was unacceptable in July, and it’s unacceptable now,” said Kluane MLA Wade Istchenko. “The Minister has had the past few months to take action to address rural health centre closures, but they are still happening. It’s unfortunate that this Whitehorse-centric Liberal government continues to ignore the needs of rural Yukoners.”
The Association of Yukon Communities (AYC) has previously expressed concern about the closures and the Na-Cho Nyak Dun First Nation wrote about the closure of the health centre in Mayo. Both called on the minister to come up with a plan to address rural health care staffing shortages.
In July, the Yukon Party joined the AYC in calling for the Liberal government to consider allowing licensed practical nurses to practice and help fill the gaps when registered nurses are unavailable. The Yukon Party has also championed a new health human resources strategy that improves recruitment and retention and helps Yukon citizens become trained as health professionals. Creative Yukon-made solutions such as this would help address rural health centre closures.
Despite the minister’s inaction on adequate health care for rural Yukoners, Kate White and the NDP continue to enable her in cabinet and prop up the Liberal government.