Mr. Speaker, today marks a major milestone for Health Care delivery in the Northwest Territories. On May 26, 2019 we began accepting patients at the new Stanton Territorial Hospital, and implemented a detailed patient move plan to bring patients from the old Stanton hospital to our brand new facility.
Mr. Speaker, to advance our government’s commitment towards community wellness and safety, we are taking steps to improve care for our people by working with the Registered Nurses Association of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, to explore the creation of one self-regulatory framework for all nursing professionals in the NWT.
Glen Abernethy, Minister of Health and Social Services, is announcing the government will invest $1 million this year to support local organizations in their efforts to reduce poverty. Funding for forty seven proposals is being awarded to community and Indigenous organizations through the 2019/20 Anti-Poverty Fund.
Minister of Health and Social Services Glen Abernethy has released the new 2019 Health and Social Services Northwest Territories Help Directory. The Help Directory is available in print and online in both English and French.
The Help Directory is designed to assist NWT residents by providing up-to-date contact information on health services available to them. The 2019 edition includes new information such as the:
The Minister of Health and Social Services, Glen Abernethy, and the President of the Registered Nurses Association of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut (RNANT/NU). Rommel Silverio, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to explore the creation of one self-regulatory framework for all nursing professionals in the Northwest Territories (NWT).
Currently the Registrar for Professional Licensing with the Department of Health and Social Services regulates licensed practical nurses, while RNANT/NU regulates registered nurses and nurse practitioners.
The Department of Health and Social Services announces changes to the Medical Travel Program effective June 1, 2019. NWT residents have access to one of the most generous medical travel programs in Canada, which has remained relatively unchanged since 1995. To bring the cost-share of medical travel costs into alignment with current travel costs of the Medical Travel Program, adjustment to the co-payment rate is being made.
Mr. Speaker, today I would like to speak about foster care and the important role that the Foster Family Coalition of the Northwest Territories has played, and will continue to play, in partnering with Child and Family Services to improve recruitment, training and support for foster families.
Foster families perform a vital service to children that must be placed in care. I want to recognize and thank all foster families from across this territory for the valuable support they provide to our children and youth.
Mr. Speaker, today I would like to provide Members with an update on the draft Child and Family Services Quality Improvement Plan. The Quality Improvement Plan sets out actions that we are taking right now to address issues identified as part of internal reviews, the 2018 Auditor General’s Report, and from staff feedback.
Mr. Speaker, this Legislative Assembly has committed to support early childhood development and today I want to provide Members and the public with an update on our work to provide equitable access to a range of inclusive, culturally informed programs and services for and children under five years of age and expecting parents.
As part of the Department of Health and Social Services’ official release of the Caring for Our People: Cultural Safety Action Plan 2018-2020 today, a Declaration of Commitment was signed to embed cultural safety within the Northwest Territories’ health and social services system.
Signatories to the Declaration of Commitment included: