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New Sanikiluaq Health Centre opening delayed to March

The planned opening for the new health centre in Sanikiluaq has been delayed until March according to Health Minister Lorne Kusugak's Office.

With prior aims to open in Oct. 2020, then again in Jan. 2021, the new goal to open the health care facility in Sanikiluaq is March. photo courtesy of the Department of Health

This isn't the first delay the long-expected community health centre has faced.

Last Aug. Nunavut News reported that the previous Oct. 2020 goal to open the facility had not been met due to delays related to Covid-19, and opening was pushed back to Jan. 2021.

Officials from the GN were expected to look through the new facility in the fall, however that scheduled visit coincided with the outbreak of Covid-19 in the community according to it's mayor Johnnie Cookie.

"The ministers landed here, but they had to leave because someone in the community had symptoms of Covid at the time," he said. "When they landed they had to leave before they even got to the community."

The new building started construction in 2016 and has yet to open. The current health centre in Sanikiluaq was built in 1984 and has been in operation for 37 years.

Sanikiluaq's new health centre will allow for staff and visiting specialists to provide more frequent services since offices and treatment spaces won't have to be shared according to the Department of Health in past statements. In the current building social workers, doctors and dentists often must share offices and treatment spaces.

A new wireless telemedicine network will help residents take advantage of increasing virtual care opportunities.