Some elective medical procedures for NWT residents in Alberta could be delayed or cancelled as cases of Covid-19 grow in the province, said Julie Green, Minister of Health and Social Services (HSS) in a news release on Monday.
“As of Nov. 16, 2020 Alberta Health Services (AHS) has advised that some elective procedures may be delayed or cancelled. The GNWT will continue to work with AHS and with patients to reschedule those procedures when circumstances allow,” Green said.
“We are engaged and in close communication with our counterparts at AHS and they have assured us they will honour our longstanding agreement to provide services to NWT residents requiring care.”
The territory’s agreement with AHS allows NWT residents to be considered as equal to Alberta residents when it comes to access to medical services, and AHS has confirmed the agreement remains active amid the pandemic, Green added.
The Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority (NTHSSA) has been communicating to practitioners to carefully consider all non-urgent referrals to Alberta, and is encouraging that virtual care be provided instead of sending patients to Alberta in person, the release said.
“If NWT residents choose not to receive services in Alberta due to Covid-19 concerns they should contact their health care provider immediately. Additionally, residents who receive any pushback from health providers in Alberta should contact their local health care provider immediately so they can help rectify the situation,” Green said.
The NWT’s health and social services system will continue monitoring Alberta’s response. If there are changes to the situation, the NTHSSA will contact patients directly and provide updates online for the public.