This is page numbers 5413 - 5452 of the Hansard for the 18th 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 work.

Topics

Question 692-18(3): Alcohol Harm Reduction Policy Changes
Oral Questions

Page 5417

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

The report writers were apparently unaware that this tool is used because the scoring for the NWT as a whole was an F, and for the tool use it was zero. Moving onwards, 71 percent of Canadians on average have had conversations with health practitioners about smoking in which they received information about the health risks of smoking and they are encouraged to quit and given ways to quit. Is there a parallel that the department can use to create guidelines that would be as effective for alcohol as they are for tobacco?

Question 692-18(3): Alcohol Harm Reduction Policy Changes
Oral Questions

Page 5418

Glen Abernethy Great Slave

Just to be clear, we have utilized this tool in the Northwest Territories, and we did make it available, and we did provide resources so that people could use it. Unfortunately, there was not a lot of uptake, and I think that's important to remember. Although it has been available, there was not a lot of uptake. With respect to the tools that have been developed around alcohol, in the new wellness plan, the draft wellness plan, which I just want to be clear is still only draft format, we are waiting for feedback from committee on how we can make it stronger, we are creating an interdepartmental problematic substance-use task force. We are also creating an advisory committee of individuals with lived experience to help inform how we move forward to get positive messaging out, encourage people to drink responsibly, and understand the impacts of over-drinking and those types of things. I feel, and I will certainly reinforce that message to the department, that what the Member is talking about is something that we are actually trying to do within the action plan, but I will reinforce that message to them and let them know that this is something that this Assembly would like to see.

Question 692-18(3): Alcohol Harm Reduction Policy Changes
Oral Questions

Page 5418

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you to the Minister for that response. I am concerned that this issue is fairly straightforward and that there are a number of sets of guidelines available to review from across the country, including from the College of Family Physicians, and I feel that it would be possible to move directly to implementation without streaming everything through additional studies. I guess my question for the Minister is how to improve uptake by medical practitioners to use some kind of screening brief intervention and referral tool.

Question 692-18(3): Alcohol Harm Reduction Policy Changes
Oral Questions

Page 5418

Glen Abernethy Great Slave

This is what this advisory group is going to help us with. We are not looking to do more planning. We are not looking to do more studies. We have the resource in front of us. We know there was not a lot of uptake. The Member even, in her Member's statement, mentioned that there has not been a lot of uptake with this program and this tool across Canada, so there are clearly some challenges with acceptance of this tool by practitioners. We see that there is some value, and we are going to get this group to work with us to help us figure out how to get more buy-in and utilize this tool as necessary, recognizing that some practitioners do have a scope of practise and they do work within that scope of practise. Some may not want to use this tool. They might have other tools they want to use. We are going to promote this tool within the government.

Question 692-18(3): Alcohol Harm Reduction Policy Changes
Oral Questions

Page 5418

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Oral questions. Member for Yellowknife Centre.

Question 692-18(3): Alcohol Harm Reduction Policy Changes
Oral Questions

Page 5418

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker. I feel that the launch of the Cultural Safety Action Plan sets the scene for more effective conversations about alcohol abuse because there will be strengthened relationships between healthcare practitioners and their clients. Having said that, there are also different approaches to doing screening intervention and referral. It can be done online, which is the case in a number of different provinces. Has the Minister considered a different approach to delivering this, that is online?

Question 692-18(3): Alcohol Harm Reduction Policy Changes
Oral Questions

Page 5418

Glen Abernethy Great Slave

We did obtain some dollars from the federal government, focused on helping us get a message out about the use of cannabis and encouraging people to use responsibly and to understand the health ramifications of using it. This money we are also going to be using to do more of a polysubstance approach, trying to get messages out there both online and at a community level, using different sources and technology to get this information out. So, yes, Mr. Speaker, this is something we are aware of. This is something we are trying to do. We are trying to be creative. We are trying to tailor the message to the audience in different communities throughout the Northwest Territories, and we are getting communities involved to help us. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 692-18(3): Alcohol Harm Reduction Policy Changes
Oral Questions

Page 5418

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Oral questions. Member for Nahendeh.

Question 693-18(3): Positive Feedback for Health and Social Services
Oral Questions

March 13th, 2019

Page 5418

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Throughout my term as a Nahendeh MLA, I have had the opportunity to hear stories, positive and negative in nature, about the service in the health system. Today in my Member's statement I talked about the great service that some of our residents have received at the hospitals here, so today I would like to ask some questions to the Minister of Health and Social Services about staff that go above and beyond. This type of service has been credited to people having a faster recovery time and living through difficult situations. I have had, actually, constituents say thank you, that, because of that service, they are alive today. Mr. Speaker, can the Minister explain what he and/or the department does when they receive positive feedback for the work that staff do? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 693-18(3): Positive Feedback for Health and Social Services
Oral Questions

Page 5418

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Minister of Health and Social Services.

Question 693-18(3): Positive Feedback for Health and Social Services
Oral Questions

Page 5418

Glen Abernethy Great Slave

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I thank the Member for his Member's statement earlier today. I think that it is important that we do recognize the incredible work that many of our amazing professionals provide throughout the healthcare system here in the Northwest Territories. These individuals are dedicated. They are committed to doing the best that they can for residents of the Northwest Territories in trying and challenging environments.

The authority does take significant effort to ensure that they are sharing these positive stories with their staff, and there are many different ways that this information comes in. Sometimes the individuals share their positive results or positive experience directly with the practitioners, which is fantastic. Other times, we know that managers or directors get information, and the managers and directors do their best to share that information with the individuals who actually were the ones being highlighted or applauded for the work that they did.

Also, Mr. Speaker, in the authority, when positive stories are brought forth, that can be shared, and I will touch on that in a second. We do try to get that out throughout the entire authority using different communications processes, such as weekly updates, our website, and our blogs. This information is how we get some of these positive stories out there.

I will note, Mr. Speaker, that, in all things that we do in Health and Social Services, we are bound by the Health Information Act, and there have been situations where individuals are really positive about their experiences, so much so that they share more information than we can, in turn, share. Sometimes we have to take out some of the specific individual context, but we do still try to share the overall feeling and intent of those messages with staff. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 693-18(3): Positive Feedback for Health and Social Services
Oral Questions

Page 5418

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

The Minister gave a very long answer, and it actually took some of my questions on the way. I know that I can't ask any more, but I will anyway. With this feedback that they have received, does the department develop it to help promote best practices to help train other staff or even new staff coming in?

Question 693-18(3): Positive Feedback for Health and Social Services
Oral Questions

Page 5418

Glen Abernethy Great Slave

We are trying to evolve and continually be an organization focused on quality improvements. When we do get these positive stories, if there are recommendations in those letters or those e-mails or wherever the individual is sharing their information from, we try to use that data to help address quality improvement issues -- "this works"; "this doesn't work"; "we have got positive feedback on this type of subject" -- so that we could share those information so that could be part of a whole learning experience.

Yes, Mr. Speaker, we do try to learn from them. We do try to get them through our mechanisms, through our tools and our resources, to make sure that those experiences are shared and highlighted for developmental purposes as well.

Question 693-18(3): Positive Feedback for Health and Social Services
Oral Questions

Page 5418

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

That is great to hear, because all we hear sometimes in this House is about the negative stuff. Even when we have concerns, it seems that we bring to the Minister or the department our concerns. Sometimes, when they are doing some great stuff, that, to me, is just as great a learning opportunity. I am glad that the department uses that as a way to help the staff. Does the department have an in-house newsletter that focuses on new changes and compliments and recommendations moving forward?

Question 693-18(3): Positive Feedback for Health and Social Services
Oral Questions

Page 5418

Glen Abernethy Great Slave

I am not going to talk about what the department is doing. I think that the Member is more referring, I believe, to the what the authority itself is doing. The NWT Health and Social Services Authority has launched an internal website that is available to all staff within the authority. The website itself focuses on many areas, including highlighting our own employees and the incredible work that some of our employees do, communicating change, promoting awareness of different programs and services, and when appropriate, highlighting some of the positive feedback that we are receiving, as long as it doesn't breach any health information legislation.

Content from the Stanton Territorial Hospital is included in communication through the territorial authority on their website, which, in a sense, Mr. Speaker, actually acts as a digital newsletter. In short, yes, it is there.