The Hay River Health and Social Services Authority (HRHSSA) issued a second notice in a week on Friday stating that staff shortages will result in a reduction of beds available.

“In order to continue safe quality patient care with required staffing levels and physician support, the Hay River Regional Health Centre will reduce in-patient capacity from 12 beds to six, effective April 1, 2022,” stated CEO Erin Griffiths in a March 18 news release.

“As a result, more patients may be transferred out of community for care and treatment.”

Griffiths said from March 19 to 28, the medical clinic will be down to one nurse practitioner and one family physician.

“A qualified emergency room physician will not be available during this time,” she said. “All residents who present to the emergency room will be triaged and assessed by our nursing staff, who will consult with a physician at Stanton Territorial Hospital over the phone.”

The health authority is expecting an exodus of employees over the next six months — registered nurses among them. The departure of workers is largely due to personal reasons: some wanting to be closer to family, some retiring and others seeking travel nursing opportunities.

Griffiths said the health centre was preparing for a temporary reduction in services from its 250 employees. Much of this is due to challenges and pressures faced by healthcare providers during Covid-19 nationally and territorially, she said.

The health centre is recruiting for a variety of positions from occupational and physio-therapists to social workers, registered nurses, family physicians and laboratory technicians.

The full news release can be found on the Hay River Health and Social Services Authority Facebook page and website.

Simon Whitehouse

Simon Whitehouse came to Yellowknife to work with Northern News Services in 2011. Simon obtained his journalism education at Algonquin College and the University of Ottawa. Simon can be reached at...

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