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My Priorities and Solutions 

Image by Vinoth Ragunathan

Priority #3



Canada’s health care system is in crisis. Many Canadians and especially northerners find it impossible to access health care and mental health services 


The number of Canadian’s who do not have access to a family physician or mental health counselor is growing


 About 1/3 of Canadians with access to a primary care provider are not seen in a timely fashion


Our emergency departments are overwhelmed and under-resourced and many northerners are waiting years for elective surgery or basic medical procedures to be undertaken


Hospitals are chronically understaffed and healthcare workers and practitioners are working long hours beyond any allowable limits and constantly burnt out


There is lacking investment in diagnostic equipment causing backlogs, increasing wait times and resulting to demanding travel south by many residents to get basic diagnostics


Many northern residents in smaller communities do not have access to basic primary care services and often have to travel outside of their communities and south to be able to get routine health care   

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  • Retain current NWT healthcare workers by providing better incentives for a work-life balance and reduce burnout 


  • Negotiate with the federal government for an autonomous immigration stream to do direct recruitment, credential recognition, and licensing. Other regions across Canada already do this, and we can be more forceful on the issue 


  • Explore options to increase medical student residency in the NWT and provide opportunities for direct recruitment  

  • Significantly cut back on the hiring period from months to weeks in order to increase the probability of hiring and to get ahead of the competition. One way of doing this is negotiating a separate Collective Agreement for Nurses and Allied Health Care Workers, which can specify targeted policies and human resource supports to meet the needs of healthcare workers and help close the gaps.


  • Train and retain healthcare workers locally with the new Polytechnic opening up  


  • Provide long-term and ongoing incentives such as relocation packages and subsidized housing if available 


  • Coordinate among government departments to streamline programs and services for better efficiency. This may include merging some programs and bringing them under one department

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