Endoscopy services have returned to Stanton Hospital after being closed during the move to a new building, and then delayed as a result of staff shortages, Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority announced in a press release Thursday.
The release said locum nurses and Stanton nursing staff receiving endoscopy training allowed the service to resume, with further training planned as demand grows.
“We are pleased to be able to begin offering endoscopy services in our new hospital. We also recognize that our staff is our most valuable resource,” Authority CEO Sue Cullen, stated in the release. “Ensuring that we are able to recruit, retain, and increase staff capacity to provide quality care and services continues to be a major priority at the NWT Health and Social Services Authority.”
If a patient was referred and accepted to Inuvik or Edmonton, their appointments will continue as planned. Some cases will still be referred to Alberta, which also occurred before the services were closed, the release stated.
The release added that “this is the first time endoscopy services will be provided in the new hospital so service volumes will ramp up over time.”
The Authority will approach the return of services in phases: as appointments open, patients will be contacted. The urgency of individual cases’ needs will also inform the their appointment allocation.