This is page numbers 4463 - 4502 of the Hansard for the 16th Assembly, 4th 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 health.

Topics

Question 394-16(4): Nursing Services In Wrigley
Oral Questions (Reversion)

Range Lake

Sandy Lee Minister of Health and Social Services

Nursing coverage for Tsiigehtchic and Wrigley is my priority and I am happy to commit to do as much or more than what the Minister of Justice is doing in that regard.

Question 394-16(4): Nursing Services In Wrigley
Oral Questions (Reversion)

Some Hon. Members

Whoa...

Question 394-16(4): Nursing Services In Wrigley
Oral Questions (Reversion)

Kevin A. Menicoche Nahendeh

The Minister is going to have to explain how her commitment translates into real resources for those communities. Thank you.

Question 394-16(4): Nursing Services In Wrigley
Oral Questions (Reversion)

Range Lake

Sandy Lee Minister of Health and Social Services

I have committed that in the past. We understand and we accept that the RCMP for Wrigley is based in Simpson and they have increased their visits to Wrigley and that’s the proposal we have for communities in Deh Cho and that’s what we continue to work on for the region in Beaufort-Delta. Thank you.

Question 394-16(4): Nursing Services In Wrigley
Oral Questions (Reversion)

The Speaker Paul Delorey

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

Question 394-16(4): Nursing Services In Wrigley
Oral Questions (Reversion)

Kevin A. Menicoche Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Just for clarification, did the Minister say there was going to be a dedicated position for Wrigley in Fort Simpson? Can she answer that? As well, again, I would like to get a commitment that services, nursing services will be enhanced at least in 2010 as we work towards this dedicated position? Thank you.

Question 394-16(4): Nursing Services In Wrigley
Oral Questions (Reversion)

Range Lake

Sandy Lee Minister of Health and Social Services

Currently we have four dedicated nurses in Simpson that services Wrigley, Nahanni Butte, Trout Lake and Jean Marie River. Yes, we have a proposal that would enhance nursing coverage in Wrigley and those three communities in 2010. Thank you.

Question 394-16(4): Nursing Services In Wrigley
Oral Questions (Reversion)

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Ms. Lee. The honourable Member for Mackenzie Delta, Mr. Krutko.

Question 395-16(4): Nursing Services In Tsiigehtchic
Oral Questions (Reversion)

February 24th, 2010

David Krutko Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Again, following up on my colleague’s questioning. I, too, would like a commitment from the Minister. This issue has been raised, like I say, in several different formats, not only in this House, but other venues such as the Gwich’in assemblies and the Beaufort leaders’ meeting.

Mr. Speaker, we do have to show that we really care for the people in the Northwest Territories. We talk about healthy and vibrant communities. The critical aspect of that is to have service providers there to assist the communities to make sure they are delivering those programs and services. One of the key positions in the communities is the nurse. So I’d like to get a commitment from the Minister stating how soon can she have those positions filled in the communities of Wrigley and Tsiigehtchic so we can see that responsibility function fully for those communities.

Question 395-16(4): Nursing Services In Tsiigehtchic
Oral Questions (Reversion)

The Speaker Paul Delorey

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

Question 395-16(4): Nursing Services In Tsiigehtchic
Oral Questions (Reversion)

Range Lake

Sandy Lee Minister of Health and Social Services

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, we are working on a project to look at enhancing nursing services in small and remote communities. We believe the proposal we have could shed light on what we can do and do services in other communities like the Mackenzie Delta. It is something we are working on with the authority. I have always stated in this House, Mr Speaker, that we are looking to enhance our services in small communities like Tsiigehtchic, but the Member also has to understand that we, at the moment, block fund our regions and we work under a system where the authorities share the resources within the authority to stretch those resources as much as possible. Thank you.

Question 395-16(4): Nursing Services In Tsiigehtchic
Oral Questions (Reversion)

David Krutko Mackenzie Delta

Again, the Minister’s answer was going in the right direction until she came to the health board and their authorities. This government has the ultimate authority. This House has the ultimate authority by approving the budget. We’re going through that process now. But also we have the accountability authority through the Financial Administration Act to ensure that those boards are spending the money where they’re supposed to and not running deficits year after year after year. I think as the Minister, you’re responsible for ensuring that other acts are followed in this position such as ensuring those positions are being fulfilled. It’s critical that the Minister carry out her ministerial responsibility to direct those departments to fill those positions in those two communities and

ensure they use the money they have in house and not say we’re already spending money. There are tons of vacant positions in the Beaufort region that are not being filled and the dollars are there.

So when can we see those positions being filled in Tsiigehtchic and Wrigley and ensure that dollars expended to those communities are earmarked for those communities and those positions are filled in those communities.

Question 395-16(4): Nursing Services In Tsiigehtchic
Oral Questions (Reversion)

Range Lake

Sandy Lee Minister of Health and Social Services

The Member is aware that the Beaufort-Delta Health and Social Services Authority uses every dollar they have to provide those services. Vacant positions don’t mean they have money set aside sitting in the bank. Vacant positions, in fact, mean more expenditures are required because they do fill those positions with locums and casuals. Mr. Speaker, the allotment for Tsiigehtchic, for example, are being used to provide nurse coverage because they do get nursing coverage for about half of the year, which is equivalent or better than what communities that size receive in other parts of the Territories and many of them don’t have a one-hour drive access. So, Mr. Speaker, the board is clear in their understanding that our commitment is to enhance our health care coverage in small communities and we will continue to concentrate on that. Thank you.

Question 395-16(4): Nursing Services In Tsiigehtchic
Oral Questions (Reversion)

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Short supplementary, Mr. Krutko.

Question 395-16(4): Nursing Services In Tsiigehtchic
Oral Questions (Reversion)

David Krutko Mackenzie Delta

Again, Mr. Speaker, it’s a game of playing who’s got the money and who’s going to go get it.

The other thing is we are spending $285,000 in the community for social services and health care services in that community. The information I got from the Minister stipulates they spent $60,000 last year. Again, we’re short $200,000 for those health care providers. You don’t have a drug and alcohol program in Tsiigehtchic. You don’t have a full-time social worker in Tsiigehtchic. You don’t have a nurse in Tsiigehtchic. Those positions were all filled positions prior to division. I’d like to ask the Minister to fill the full-time positions. I don’t care where you find the money to supplement the $60,000 you’re spending now, regardless if it’s another $100,000, find it within, get the job done and, more importantly, get a nurse in these communities.