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WHITEHORSE – This summer, the Government of Yukon temporarily closed or reduced operating hours at multiple community nursing stations due to a lack of staff. This gap in services blocks rural Yukoners from accessing basic health care when they need it, as well as traveling Yukoners, and visitors to the territory.
The Yukon Party Official Opposition joins the Association of Yukon Communities (AYC) and rural Yukoners in sounding the alarm that this is not acceptable. The closures are another consequence of the ongoing neglect for the needs of rural Yukon by the Whitehorse-centric territorial Liberal government.
The government must outline a plan that addresses the gaps in operating hours for rural health care centres, and ensures residents can access the health care they need in their home community.
“Yukoners rightly expect to have access to basic health care services in rural communities,” said Health and Social Services Critic Brad Cathers. “These gaps in service are the result of a Liberal government that has repeatedly neglected the basic needs of our health system, and emerging challenges in health care delivery. For years, we have championed developing a new health human resources strategy that improves recruitment and retention, and also helps Yukon citizens become trained as health professionals.”
The Yukon Party agrees with a suggestion from the AYC that the Liberal government should consider allowing licensed practical nurses to practice and help fill the gaps when registered nurses are unavailable. This type of creative solution will help address the closure of critical rural health care centres.