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Concerns raised with Kivalliq Inuit Centre

Contract with Kivalliq Development Corporation expires in March 2023
Aivilik MLA Solomon Malliki brought up concerns relating to the Kivalliq Inuit Centre in the legislative assembly on May 31, stating that some of his constituents find the facility unwelcoming. File photo courtesy of Solomon Malliki

Aivilik MLA Solomon Malliki said in the legislative assembly that it has been brought to his attention that service at the Kivalliq Inuit Centre in Winnipeg is not at an acceptable level.

“My constituents have noted that the facility is not very welcoming and they are having negative experiences,” said Malliki on May 31.

He asked Minister of Health John Main to describe the steps taken by his staff to address concerns regarding the centre, which is run by the Kivalliq Development Corporation (KDC) on a contract that expires March 31, 2023.

Main responded that the management teams involved with the corporation meet and discuss common concerns with the department, and stakeholders work together to resolve issues that are brought up.

The last meeting between the department and KDC was April 19. Main said concerns or dissatisfaction with the centre can be addressed to the toll-free Office of Patient Relations at 855-438-3003.

“They are very good at addressing matters of concern,” said Main through interpretation.

“Last year in 2021, the Office of Patient Relations helped 393 patients who were dissatisfied with the services that they were provided, so this highlights the level of assistance this office does provide.”

Malliki didn’t appear overly optimistic about that office’s ability to stem issues from reoccurring.

“I recognize that the minister and his staff work with the contractors to address the concerns when they arise,” said Malliki. “However, it often seems that after a short period of improvement, service standards start to drop again. Will the minister commit to working with the contractors on a regular basis, and not just in response to complaints and concerns, to ensure that the services provided at the regional boarding homes meet the standards specified in their contracts at all times?”

Main responded, “I’m not going to commit to that at this point, the reason being that the commitment would be meaningless because what the member has asked me to commit to is already standard operating practice for the department.”

The department already meets regularly with contractors and addresses issues when they arise, the minister went on to say.

The Office of Patient Relations also watches trends and addresses more than individual cases, he added.

“I would just encourage the member and medical travellers out there that if you do have an issue, please raise it directly with the operator and, if that’s not satisfactory to you, please bring it to the department through the Office of Patient Relations and we will look into it,” said Main. “We want them to have a good and healthy medical travel experience.”