The Minister of Health and Social Services, Glen Abernethy, issued the following statement regarding concerns recently expressed in local media. While the Minister cannot comment with respect to specific individuals, the Minister makes the following general comments:
“I am deeply troubled by the comments that the care provided in a particular situation was not appropriate. Though I am confident in the standard of care provided in the Northwest Territories, I believe that the serious nature of certain concerns expressed in the media warrant a comprehensive external investigation, with a view to determining whether there are learnings we can glean that will help us to improve the care we provide to elders and other residents in our small communities and throughout the Northwest Territories. The strategic plan for the health and social services system commits us to a system that treats everyone with compassion, respect, fairness and dignity – and we take that commitment very seriously.
”The new Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority is responsible for delivering care in accordance with the standards set out in the Strategic Plan. Earlier this month I wrote to Jim Antoine, Chair of the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Leadership Council, and directed the Council to work on ensuring cultural competency throughout the system as its first priority. Members of the new Leadership Council met in Yellowknife last week and discussed how to make this a reality.”
The process for an investigation is currently being developed.