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GN preparing for possible health centre closures over the holidays

02 December 2022

Public Service Announcement
GN preparing for possible health centre closures over the holidays

Several Nunavut communities can expect their health centres to be temporarily closed, or see a reduction in services, over the holiday season. The Department of Health is working with government and territorial partners to ensure Nunavummiut have access to necessary health services while addressing staff shortages.

Currently, the Department of Health is projecting closures in six communities as follows:

Community Start Date End Date
Arctic Bay 4-Jan-23 10-Jan-23
Igloolik 20-Jan-23 28-Feb-23
Kinngait 25-Jan-23 28-Feb-23
Pond Inlet 9-Jan-23 30-Jan-23
Resolute Bay 1-Jan-23 6-Jan-23
Resolute Bay 12-Jan-23 28-Jan-23

The closures are a result of difficulty in securing relief staff due to a national shortage of healthcare professionals.  In response, the Department of Health has developed contingency plans that will allow continuity of urgent health services in affected communities while aggressively pursuing recruitment efforts.

In communities where routine health centre services will be unavailable or limited, the Department of Health will use a combination of virtual health, fly-in clinics and paramedic services to support clients. Calls will continue to go to the health centres and be directed to virtual support services. Calls may be automatically forwarded to other communities, and callers are asked not to hang up if there are delays while the call is connecting.

During temporary closures, paramedics are on site to provide emergency, or life-threatening care. Support staff will be available by phone to assist with services such as filling prescriptions and medical travel. If you need a prescription filled, you are advised to get them before the scheduled closure to avoid delays in receiving your medication.

Closures are subject to change based on staff availability. Updates on closure status will be provided as they become available.  


Media Contact:

Danarae Sommerville
Communications Specialist
Department of Health