Stanton Territorial Hospital has fully resumed obstetrics services after four months of service cutbacks followed by a gradual resumption.

The Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority (NTHSSA) announced in a statement on April 14 that the Yellowknife hospital would again offer service to parents from the Kitikmeot region of Nunavut, the final step in the full resumption of services.

Health and Social Services Minister Julie Green first announced in November that the hospital would suspend obstetrics services for nearly all patients between Dec. 10 and Feb. 21 due to a lack of staff. This was followed by a partial return to service in February, when parents from Nunavut who were expecting their first child, or who weren’t scheduled for C-sections, were still being sent to Edmonton for service.

“We want to thank NWT and Nunavut residents for their patience throughout the service disruption,” the NTHSSA statement reads. “Thank you to NTHSSA staff for their hard work and dedication to getting labour and delivery services back to full capacity and to all patients who travelled for care to make space for the phased resumption and continuation of emergency services throughout the service reduction.”

Despite the return to full services, in previous announcements about gradual service resumptions, Green said a future service cutback was not entirely out of the question.

“If there is any point in the future where staffing levels are limited and safe care is not possible, we will adjust services as necessary,” the minister told the Legislative Assembly on Feb. 22.

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