This is page numbers 1277 - 1298 of the Hansard for the 19th Assembly, 2nd 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 911.

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Question 358-19(2): Long-Term Care Facility
Oral Questions

October 16th, 2020

Page 1290

Ronald Bonnetrouge Deh Cho

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker. As I have been going on about our elders, our knowledge-keepers, to keep them in our communities, this is so that the children, their children and grandchildren, and other residents of the community can have direct access to them within the community without having to drive out-of-town or to another centre. If they go to another centre, you've got to understand from their point of view, the elders, the ones that are displaced into another centre, that they don't have family around. They're in a totally strange environment. They've never ever left the community that's the Dene people. They know the people. They know the land. They have all their traditional foods available to them right in their community. It is something that I really encourage you to look at, instituting into the small communities to help more. I know you're saying we've got homecare services and everything. That's just not enough. It's to house them into some centres in the community where they can be looked after, and we can hire specialized people to do the care for them. I'd really encourage the Minister to start looking at institutions, have programs for all the small communities in the North. Mahsi.

Question 358-19(2): Long-Term Care Facility
Oral Questions

Page 1290

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

I take that comment.

Question 358-19(2): Long-Term Care Facility
Oral Questions

Page 1290

The Speaker (Hon. Frederick Blake Jr) Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions. Member for Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh.

Question 359-19(2): Home Care
Oral Questions

Page 1290

Steve Norn Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh

Marsi cho, Mr. Speaker. I have some questions for the Minister of Health and Social Services. Just to get some context here, just listening to some of the comments and hearing my colleague from Deh Cho. There's a clear picture here. There are some gaps here in our care for our elders. I gave that visual earlier in my Member's statement. There're some gaps here, and I think that we need to really step back and start looking at some of these issues. We've got to find whatever ways we can. Let our elders live in their homes. A lot of our small communities, we look after elders. We have relatives that come and check in on our elders. Quite often, we're not. To get some of the specialized care, there's a gap there.

My first question to the Minister is: if an elder is ill in their homes, what is the policy for local nurses on home visits? Mahsi cho.

Question 359-19(2): Home Care
Oral Questions

Page 1290

The Speaker (Hon. Frederick Blake Jr) Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh. Minister of Health and Social Services.

Question 359-19(2): Home Care
Oral Questions

Page 1290

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The nurses in the health centres don't make house calls. Thank you.

Question 359-19(2): Home Care
Oral Questions

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Steve Norn Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh

It is concerning. I know there are some safety in terms of protecting our healthcare providers, our doctors and nurses from doing home visits. My second question: a lot of our small communities, there are no ambulance services. What does this department do to deal with patients who need emergent care?

Question 359-19(2): Home Care
Oral Questions

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Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you for that question. It's not the role of Health and Social Services to provide ambulance services. That's under the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs. I am assuming that community members drive one another to the health centre. That's probably the most common practice, and I hope that that would still be the practice. In the event that somebody doesn't have a ride close to hand, that person should call 911 and ask them for help to get to the health centre.

Question 359-19(2): Home Care
Oral Questions

Page 1291

Steve Norn Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh

Again, this picture has started to get a little more clear for me now, and I think it's important that the Minister of Health and Social Services and MACA do work together on these type of issues. I think it's important. A lot of our small communities, a few are on the floor or someplace and in trouble. It's going to be tough. You'll probably have to get a relative or the RCMP to get the emergent care. That's something to think about. My next question for the Minister is: what proactive measures is this department taking to dealing with patients who need healthcare in their homes?

Question 359-19(2): Home Care
Oral Questions

Page 1291

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you for the point that we should be working together. I completely agree. What we're doing about homecare is that in June of this year, the Minister of the time tabled the home and community care review, and it made 22 recommendations for improving home and community care in the Northwest Territories. A number of recommendations have been accepted and implementation work is under way. Some of the other recommendations are dependent on other program evaluation, like the paid caregiver program.

What we're doing here is trying to, I'm going to say, rationalize homecare so that there is a clear set of services that are provided, that these services are available more widely than they are now, and that the service is provided in more hours than it is now, so that it's not just a Monday to Friday 9:00 to 5:00 service, but that there's some flexibility to help people, for example, get to bed in the evening, which they probably don't want to do at five o'clock. We are attempting to make home and community care more effective for people to age in place. That's our ultimate goal.

Question 359-19(2): Home Care
Oral Questions

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The Speaker (Hon. Frederick Blake Jr) Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Final supplementary. Member for Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh.

Question 359-19(2): Home Care
Oral Questions

Page 1291

Steve Norn Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh

Marsi cho, Mr. Speaker. That's good to hear there are some measures being put in place. There are these gaps. We still need to keep talking about them. We are still hearing them. I know you are in a new role, and already, we've got you to rise quite a few times already. It just goes to show that there are some really glaring areas of need, like yesterday.

My final question: I think from looking at things, I think homecare nurses might be a good starting point in small communities. I know in my home community of Deninu Kue, we do not have a homecare position per se. Would the Minister commit to creating a homecare nurse position in Deninu Kue? Marsi cho.

Question 359-19(2): Home Care
Oral Questions

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Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

The situation in communities without homecare is that the community health nurse is the person who provides the homecare in default. The allocation of resources is really dependent on the number of clients and the types of needs they have, so the allocation of homecare services is something that the department is working on. Depending on the age profile and need profile of people in your community, it may be necessary to assign additional resources, but I can't make that commitment today. Thank you.

Question 359-19(2): Home Care
Oral Questions

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The Speaker (Hon. Frederick Blake Jr) Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions. Member for Yellowknife North.

Question 360-19(2): Indigenous Procurement Process
Oral Questions

Page 1291

Rylund Johnson Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As I spoke earlier today in my statement, the Government of Nunavut has an Indigenous procurement policy. The Government of Yukon is developing one. Alaska's business development corporation has done amazing work in this field, and for some reason, despite having constitutionally protected land claims with human clauses in them, we have not developed a comprehensive Indigenous procurement policy. My question for the Minister of Finance is: will we develop an Indigenous procurement policy? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.