This is page numbers 19 - 39 of the Hansard for the 13th Assembly, 8th Session. The original version can be accessed on the Legislative Assembly's website or by contacting the Legislative Assembly Library. The word of the day was nurses.

Topics

Further Return To Question 11-13(8): Pay And Benefits To Medical Professionals
Question 11-13(8): Pay And Benefits To Medical Professionals
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 26

Floyd Roland Inuvik

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, in the area of doctors, we do know, and the department is working with the Medical Association and hoping to start dealing with the forecasting, we know we will run into problems. When you look at it on a per capita basis, there are a large number of doctors in the Northwest Territories, but we know that in the future we have doctors that are getting on with age or looking to retirement. We need to recruit and make sure we have the adequate level of service provided. The department has been working with the Medical Association to try and deal with this issue before it becomes a crisis. Right now, the focus has been on nurses because we found ourselves right at the crisis point. We have had, as many of you have heard over the summer, a number of nursing stations or health centres in the smaller communities go on to emergency level of service because of the shortage of nurses. That is what we focused on with this program. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Further Return To Question 11-13(8): Pay And Benefits To Medical Professionals
Question 11-13(8): Pay And Benefits To Medical Professionals
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 26

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Mr. Ootes.

Question 12-13(8): Addressing Potential Doctor Shortage
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 26

Jake Ootes Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Just to follow up on that question by Mr. Erasmus, in June we heard that there was a shortage of nurses here in Yellowknife to staff the emergency room at the Stanton Hospital. They did not have enough doctors available to staff it for around the clock and the size of the community, of course, demands that. Now Dr. King tells me there is a doctor shortage at Stanton this summer and it is an indicator of a larger problem. Apparently we have 78 physicians for 100,000 population and nationally it is at 98 physicians. That is a 20 percent difference. Dr. King did a survey during the summer and he said that in the two regions of Yellowknife and Hay River, 12 long-term physicians have left the North in the past year and a half. The Canadian Medical Association is warning about a doctor shortage across the country. I heard the Minister's answer to the question, but I wonder if he could tell me if they will look at the situation of the need to address doctor shortages, or potential doctor shortages because, like the nurses' situation, it is a critical problem, but we also need to now address the doctor shortage.

Question 12-13(8): Addressing Potential Doctor Shortage
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 26

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

The Minister of Health and Social Services, Mr. Roland.

Return To Question 12-13(8): Addressing Potential Doctor Shortage
Question 12-13(8): Addressing Potential Doctor Shortage
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 26

Floyd Roland Inuvik

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, as I responded earlier to the previous question, the department is working with the Medical Association to try and come to grips with the growing concerns of doctor shortages in the Northwest Territories. As I stated earlier, we would not want to see it come to the situation we have with the nurses. We are trying to be a bit proactive here in dealing with that and trying to find ways of providing services that would not see a reduction in doctor services. We have undergone a number of areas of work that would see trying to address that in the future. Some of it is working with boards. For example, we have in the Northwest Territories a number of private clinics. There is some discussion as to whether we should be focusing more on staff doctors and working along those lines. There has been some work done in Yellowknife, and I know in the community of Inuvik and I believe in Hay River as well, where there are a number of private clinics just seeing if we can try and come up with a program that is more suitable to the Northwest Territories and would still see us provide an adequate level of doctors here. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Return To Question 12-13(8): Addressing Potential Doctor Shortage
Question 12-13(8): Addressing Potential Doctor Shortage
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 26

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Supplementary, Mr. Ootes.

Supplementary To Question 12-13(8): Addressing Potential Doctor Shortage
Question 12-13(8): Addressing Potential Doctor Shortage
Item 6: Oral Questions

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Jake Ootes Yellowknife Centre

I wonder if the Minister could tell me if that program that they are looking at would include an incentive program that perhaps is offered in other locations. Certainly in the states, they do offer incentives. I am wondering if that has been investigated. Thank you.

Supplementary To Question 12-13(8): Addressing Potential Doctor Shortage
Question 12-13(8): Addressing Potential Doctor Shortage
Item 6: Oral Questions

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mr. Roland.

Further Return To Question 12-13(8): Addressing Potential Doctor Shortage
Question 12-13(8): Addressing Potential Doctor Shortage
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 26

Floyd Roland Inuvik

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. At the present time, we have not gone to that level of looking at what we can do for the doctors in the sense of providing a supplement of that nature. I am aware that there was work ongoing within the department and Medical Association through the spring to try and come up with a deal that would be satisfactory to both parties. I do not have that information at my fingertips and if the Member wanted more information as to the results of that, I can provide that to the Member once I have that information from the department. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Further Return To Question 12-13(8): Addressing Potential Doctor Shortage
Question 12-13(8): Addressing Potential Doctor Shortage
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 26

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Supplementary, Mr. Ootes.

Supplementary To Question 12-13(8): Addressing Potential Doctor Shortage
Question 12-13(8): Addressing Potential Doctor Shortage
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 26

Jake Ootes Yellowknife Centre

Yes, I would appreciate that, Mr. Speaker. Additionally, I wonder if the Minister could tell me if they are tracking the turnover of doctors. I heard him say earlier that he did not think there was a problem at the moment. Perhaps I heard incorrectly, but I wonder if the Minister could tell me if they have a program to track the doctor turnover. My statistics and my information indicate that we did have substantial turnover over the last year and a half.

Supplementary To Question 12-13(8): Addressing Potential Doctor Shortage
Question 12-13(8): Addressing Potential Doctor Shortage
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 26

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mr. Roland.

Further Return To Question 12-13(8): Addressing Potential Doctor Shortage
Question 12-13(8): Addressing Potential Doctor Shortage
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 27

Floyd Roland Inuvik

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As I said earlier, the department has been working with the Medical Association to keep track of what is happening in the Northwest Territories. On a couple of different levels, again, I mentioned the clinics earlier. On the private clinic side, they seem to be maintaining the level of doctors they had in previous times and as ongoing. We have had some shortages in other areas, but when you throw in locums that are happening working under other doctor's supervision, we are managing to maintain right now an adequate level of service. As I stated earlier, we are working with the Medical Association to try and ensure that we do not run into a situation as we have with nurses. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Further Return To Question 12-13(8): Addressing Potential Doctor Shortage
Question 12-13(8): Addressing Potential Doctor Shortage
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 27

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Mrs. Groenewegen.

Question 13-13(8): Beverage Container Recycling Legislation
Item 6: Oral Questions

September 8th, 1999

Page 27

Jane Groenewegen Hay River

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, in the last couple of days I have been speaking about the need for legislation for recycling of beverage containers in the Northwest Territories. My question is for Mr. Kakfwi. We are almost at the end of our term of office here, but it is impossible for any business to set up or to start this exercise rolling until there is legislation in place. Is it too late or would it be possible for the Minister to commit to his department taking the initiative to commence drafting a beverage container deposit system legislation. Thank you.