The Qikiqtarjuaq health centre was built in 1972, was last renovated in 1992 and it needs to be replaced, Uqqummiut MLA Mary Killiktee said in the Legislative Assembly on March 10.

“Workers do not have proper space to work in and even though there is money available for more staff, they cannot hire more staff because they do not have any room…” she said. “It should be clear that the community of Qikiqtarjuaq really needs a new health centre at the earliest opportunity.”

Health Minister John Main made no argument to the contrary.

“We are well aware that it is too old now and looking at the number of health centres that need to be replaced, the one there Qikiqtarjuaq is top priority,” he said. “We know that the Qikiqtarjuaq health centre does not meet the current building code standards for a healthcare facility.”

A new health centre is projected to cost $40 million, according to Main, however, “in the present business plan, there is no money available that can be targeted toward the Qikiqtarjuaq health centre project. For next year’s capital plan I would be very happy if it could be in next year’s capital plan.”

The Hamlet of Qikiqtarjuaq included a new health centre in its community integrated plan in 2011.

“They are tired of waiting and that is quite obvious and I understand that,” said Main.

The GN planning process for a replacement health facility started in 2014-‘15, in conjunction with the Department of Community and Government Services, the minister added.

Killiktee pointed out that the community has grown since that project planning began.

Derek Neary

Derek Neary has been reporting on developments in the North for 18 years. When he's not writing for Nunavut News, he's working on Northern News Services' special publications such as Opportunities North,...

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