Several communities can expect to their health centres to close again this summer as Nunavut’s Department of Health continues to contend with staff shortages.
The Department of Health has not released a schedule — communities where health centre closures will occur this summer will be notified in the weeks leading up to the closure via local social media and radio.
This is due to the difficulty in securing summer relief staff amid a national shortage of healthcare professionals. In response to this, the Department of Health will be developing contingency plans to ensure continuity in urgent healthcare services in the territory.
In communities where routine health services will be unavailable or limited, the department will use a combination of fly-in paramedic/clinic services and virtual health check-ins to support Nunavummiut.
Calls will continue to be directed to local health centres and may also be directed to virtual support services. Calls could also be routed to health centres in other communities.
There may be delays during this time, so callers are advised to stay on the line when contacting a health centre.
Support staff will be available to assist with services like prescriptions and medical travel, but residents are advised to fill their prescriptions before the date of any given health centre closure.
Covid-19 vaccinations will continue to be available through appointments.