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Establishment of the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority

YELLOWKNIFE (August 2, 2016) – On August 1st the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority (NTHSSA) began operations. This represents a major milestone for the transformation of the NWT Health and Social Services System, and for our ability to provide the best care and outcomes to residents across the Northwest Territories.

These changes have been made to help break down systemic barriers to efficient and effective care and service delivery and build the foundation of a system with improved accountability and performance.

Before August 1st, the system was made up of eight different authorities, working separately. This proved to be a barrier to efficiency and access to care. The new system is also able to bring improvements that are based on the needs of residents. This is possible because the NTHSSA will be informed by Regional Wellness Councils; groups that will provide input and advice at the regional level that will inform care and services delivered territorially.

The NTHSSA will operate under the direction of the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Leadership Council, a board of management comprised of the Chairs of all the regional wellness councils and the Chair of the Tlicho Community Services Agency.

On August 10 through 12 the Regional Wellness Councils and Territorial Leadership Council will meet for orientation in Yellowknife. A media briefing will be planned at this time to provide an opportunity for media to ask questions and hear about the background and reasons for these changes.

The NTHSSA will maximize use of human resources, make the system more responsive to the needs of our residents, and enhance the quality of care across all regions.

System transformation is a process, not an event, and there will be much more work in the months to come. There will be continued changes and improvements this will be supported by the Regional Wellness Councils as they help determine the needs of northerners. The Department of Health and Social Services and the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority would like to thank everyone for their hard work in making this milestone a reality.

Quotes

“The creation of the Territorial Health and Social Services Authority is a monumental step for our health and social services system in the north. I look forward to the first meetings of the Leadership Council and the Regional Wellness Councils in the first few weeks of August. Regional input will be invaluable to our new system.”
- Glen Abernethy, Minister of Health and Social Services

“A new governance model, informed by Regional Wellness Councils and based on the needs of the people that this system serves, will benefit all Northwest Territories residents. I very much look forward to the first meeting of the Territorial Health and Social Services Leadership Council and the important work we are about to undertake.”
Jim Antoine, Chair, Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Leadership Council

 

Quick Facts

  • The Department of Health and Social Services will continue its “ministry” function, setting standards and policy frameworks. It will administer business planning, resource allocations, and monitoring. The Department will also continue to administer the NWT Health Care Plan and deliver vital statistics services.
     
  • The Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority will administer the design and delivery of territorial health programs, along with operation of territorial facilities. It will be responsible for clinical and professional leadership and physician services.
     
  • The Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority will be made up of an amalgamation of the Beaufort Delta, Sahtu, Dehcho, Fort Smith, Yellowknife, and Stanton Territorial Health Authorities.
     
  • Regional Wellness Councils (RWC) will represent the Hay River area, Fort Smith, Sahtu, Dehcho, Beaufort Delta, and Yellowknife area including Lutselk’e and Fort Resolution. These 7 person councils will provide guidance and ensure a representative voice within the system.
     
  • The chair of each Regional Wellness Council will sit on the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Leadership Council, along with the Chair of the Tlicho Community Services Agency. This will serve as the board of management for the NTHSSA.
     
  • The Tlicho Community Services Agency will continue to be a Board of Management under the Hospital Insurance and Health and Social Services Administration Act. The establishment of the new Authority will respect the legislation that establishes the TCSA which was implemented as a result of the Tlicho Self Government Agreement.
     
  • Hay River Health and Social Services Authority employees will remain in their organization until negotiations can be completed at a future point that will allow for them to be brought into the public service. The new authority will work in close collaboration with the TCSA and HRHSSA to ensure that all residents have access to a consistent standard of care.


Backgrounder

Media Inquiries:

Umesh Sutendra
Communication Specialist
Department of Health and Social Services
Government of the Northwest Territoires
867-767-9052 ext 49036