This is page numbers 1921 to 1954 of the Hansard for the 16th Assembly, 3rd 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 honourable.

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Question 37-16(3) Impact Of Global Economic Downturn
Oral Questions

Inuvik Boot Lake

Floyd Roland Premier

Every year we as a government do a full review of our planning, expenditures, reductions and where investments should occur. That occurs on an annual basis. As we prepare for the next slate of that, which we’ll be bringing to Members, that information will be pulled together. For example, were our estimates on corporate taxes on the mark or were they off? Were there adjustments? Payroll tax, personal income tax, all of those things we build on estimates, and they’re proved out if our numbers are good or not. Later in the year we get the results back from the federal government. That’s all part of the package and affects any changes that we will have to make going forward, looking at the business plans.

Question 37-16(3) Impact Of Global Economic Downturn
Oral Questions

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. Roland. Final supplementary, Mr. Ramsay.

Question 37-16(3) Impact Of Global Economic Downturn
Oral Questions

David Ramsay Kam Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Again, I think it’s important that the government keep its eye on what is happening around the world. Like I said earlier, the Bank of Canada is predicting that Canada is on the brink of a recession. I would hope that the government could at the earliest possibility brief Regular Members on where the government’s exposure is in terms of credit and commodity prices. It’s going to hit us. We’re not going to be immune to what’s going on. Will the Premier commit today to brief Regular Members on where the government’s exposure is on this?

Question 37-16(3) Impact Of Global Economic Downturn
Oral Questions

Inuvik Boot Lake

Floyd Roland Premier

The fact is myself and the Finance Minister will be prepared to sit down with Members before we start the actual business planning process to give an update on where things are, where the dollars are, the impact on the Northwest Territories and the changes we will have to look at going forward as we look at those potential impacts that might be felt here in the Northwest Territories.

Question 37-16(3) Impact Of Global Economic Downturn
Oral Questions

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. Roland. The honourable Member for Nahendeh, Mr. Menicoche.

Question 38-16(3) Medical Travel Concerns In Fort Simpson
Oral Questions

October 24th, 2008

Kevin A. Menicoche Nahendeh

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I’d like to ask the Minister of Health and Social Services some questions with respect to Medical Travel.

They have been doing a really good job. I’ve brought up some concerns in the past about travelling back home to my smaller communities. In the past I had issues about not having contact information when they get to the airport, and sometimes they get stranded. So they have taken the initiative of putting up collect phone numbers and posting it around so people can see it.

But we’re still finding that constituents are showing up in Fort Simpson, and they’re getting stranded. In fact, some people aren’t really familiar with calling collect, either. They’re not comfortable with it, maybe because of their skill level with the English language.

I’d just like to ask the Minister: what steps are given to the patients to ensure that they travel safely back to the communities without interruption?

Question 38-16(3) Medical Travel Concerns In Fort Simpson
Oral Questions

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. Menicoche. The honourable Minister of Health and Social Services, Ms. Lee.

Question 38-16(3) Medical Travel Concerns In Fort Simpson
Oral Questions

Range Lake

Sandy Lee Minister of Health and Social Services

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I thank the Member for bringing this issue to my attention, because it appears that we could improve our programming there.

My understanding is that we do not have a contractor for medical travel in Simpson. It is going out for tender in the next couple of weeks. While they do not have a contractor in place, the department and the Stanton authority, which is responsible for medical travel, have been using patchwork efforts to organize transportation. Where patients are flying in charter planes, they would arrange with the charter companies to pick them up, and then taxi services or Deh Cho Health Authority staff will come.

It has not been a consistent delivery of service. I’d like to thank the Member for bringing that up, and I will follow that up. Hopefully, if we could get a contractor in place, we could have a more uniform and consistent service in that area.

Question 38-16(3) Medical Travel Concerns In Fort Simpson
Oral Questions

Kevin A. Menicoche Nahendeh

It’s about making the lives better for our constituents. Deh Cho Health and Social Services, like many government departments, they’re clients as well.

The main concern now, at this time of year, is that it gets darker sooner. Constituents are landing in evening flights — 7, 7:30 — and the airport gets shut down right away by airport staff. So sometimes they really don’t have an outlet for who to call or how to get transportation.

I was just wondering: does the current policy or guidelines require a call ahead of time to the community that the patient is traveling to, to advise them of their contractor and/or, in this case, that it’s probably going to be Health and Social Services staff for the interim?

Question 38-16(3) Medical Travel Concerns In Fort Simpson
Oral Questions

Range Lake

Sandy Lee Minister of Health and Social Services

Yes. Right now the policy or the process is that the local taxi company is advised. They would like to get the call by 4 o’clock the day before for anybody coming. I understand it does work most of the time, but once in a while the passengers might arrive at the airport and not find anybody there, and they’ll have to call the number that’s indicated at the airport.

Question 38-16(3) Medical Travel Concerns In Fort Simpson
Oral Questions

Kevin A. Menicoche Nahendeh

Like I said, at Fort Simpson Airport there is a phone number that people can call collect. Has the department looked at using a 1-800 system at all? I think we’ve raised it before too; I’m not too sure. Maybe it exists; I’m not too sure.

Question 38-16(3) Medical Travel Concerns In Fort Simpson
Oral Questions

Range Lake

Sandy Lee Minister of Health and Social Services

I think the 1-800 number question was to do with residents in our small communities who need to get hold of a health professional, if there’s just one simple number they could call. The issue there, at the time, was with NorthwesTel having some difficulties.

With respect to this medical travel, I would commit to the Member that I will ask the department to review the process we have now to see if we could improve that any better. But, at the end of the day, having a contractor who could deliver that service consistently probably will be the better way, and I’m hoping we could have somebody take that on.

Question 38-16(3) Medical Travel Concerns In Fort Simpson
Oral Questions

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Ms. Lee. Final supplementary, Mr. Menicoche.

Question 38-16(3) Medical Travel Concerns In Fort Simpson
Oral Questions

Kevin A. Menicoche Nahendeh

I’m very happy to see the Minister is very attuned to the situation, because we do have patients traveling to and fro that require attention.

Just once again, I’m not too sure whether the clients are given a sheet with phone numbers on it to contact somebody when they arrive on site and there’s nobody there to pick them up or to forward them on to the next point of destination.

Question 38-16(3) Medical Travel Concerns In Fort Simpson
Oral Questions

Range Lake

Sandy Lee Minister of Health and Social Services

It appears that in Simpson the Deh Cho Health Authority is in close touch with the Stanton authority. The community health rep or even the maintenance person, whoever has a vehicle, will go and meet whoever is arriving. That

is the process right now. I will review that to see if we can tighten that up any further.