Tag: northern

Pandemic worsened stress on northern health care workers: Yukon University report

Health care workers were pushed to the brink during the pandemic, exacerbating existing problems that still persist, according to a new Yukon University study.

The paper, published this week, looks at the impacts the COVID-19 pandemic had on Yukon’s health care workers.

“The challenges of providing care in the north are compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, contributing to increased stress,” the authors concluded. Those challenges include recruitment and retention of health care professionals, limited resources and serving rural, isolated communities.

“We must build a more resilient health care system that can sustain our aging society.”

The study surveyed 141 health care workers in the territory last fall, asking them a number of questions about burnout caused by workload, loss of personal time and incapacity to care for patients.

Findings indicated little difference in burnout and fatigue between health care workers in Yukon’s urban and rural communities.

More than half of respondents reported feeling tired, worn-out and exhausted, both physically and emotionally. Over a quarter indicated they often feel they “can’t take it anymore.”

Nurses reported higher rates of burnout than doctors, though the majority of respondents from both camps said burnout and fatigue became worse in the pandemic. 

The report noted that other jurisdictions have seen a loss of health care workers due to worsening stress levels.

“In light of these findings, there is cause for concern that frontline [health care] workers in the Yukon, specifically nurses, may follow a similar trend,” the report states. 

“Seeing as the Yukon’s healthcare system is reliant on nurses, especially in those who work in rural communities, this is problematic as it could exacerbate a pre-existing staffing crisis, compromise patient care, and increase the workload for remaining staff.”

Two men stand outside the Yukon convention centre in daylight. There is snow on the ground.
Dr. Alex Kmet, right, outside the Yukon Convention Centre in 2020, where the territorial government

Northern Health shares blue-green algae information

As the weather continues to warm in northern B.C., Northern Health shares some information on blue-green algae. (Canva)

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Northern Health has shared some information on blue-green algae as B.C. residents look to make use of lakes this summer.

According to the health authority, the warm weather across the north could cause blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria, to appear in lakes.

Blue-green algae are naturally occurring and can look like scum, grass clippings, fuzz or globs on the water.

Despite the name, blue-green algae can be blue-green, green-brown, brown or pink-red and often smells like must or grass.

Contact with visible blue-green algae or ingestion of water with the toxins may result in skin irritation, rash, sore throat, sore red eyes, swollen lips, fever, nausea and vomiting or diarrhea.

Northern Health says symptoms usually appear in a couple of hours and resolve within two days.

Children who come into contact with blue-green algae will experience more pronounced symptoms.

Lake users are advised by the health authority to take the following precautions:

  • Avoid all contact with blue-green algae blooms. If contact occurs, wash with tap water as soon as possible.
  • Do not swim or wade (or allow your pets to swim or wade) in any areas where blue-green algae are visible.
  • As a reminder, Northern Health recommends that visitors and residents not drink or cook with untreated water directly from any lake. Boiling lake water will not remove the toxins produced by blue-green algae.
  •  An alternate source of drinking water should also be provided for pets and livestock.  Pet owners should be wary of allowing pets to walk off-leash where they may be able to drink lake water – illnesses are a common outcome.

Due to weather and wind conditions, blue-green algae blooms can move across lakes, and

Northern Health warns of increased ER wait times at Terrace’s Mills Memorial Hospital

Northern Health officials are warning that there could be even longer wait times at Mills Memorial Hospital’s ER department this summer because of a physician and staff shortage.

Instead of two physicians on duty at any one time, there might be just one, said newly-named Northern Health President and CEO Ciro Panessa.

As it is, wait times are on the rise from last year to now, he added.

“We’ve gone from 60-ish to 80-ish visits a day with more on the 60-ish end versus the 80-ish end, but there have been days with just under 100 people,” Panessa added.

“We see the majority of the visits between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. and there are times we don’t have our full staffing complement.”

The lack of staff has also meant patients may be transferred elsewhere to help cope with an increased workload in the ER.

The potential for longer wait times has Panessa asking people coming to the ER to be patient while awaiting service.

“I know it’s tough when people are in distress and needing help,” he said.

That’s not to dissuade from people in critical medical circumstances from coming to the ER, Panessa continued.

“But we are saying people can also use our virtual clinic,” he said.

Panessa said there are many factors as to why ER wait times are up and could go even higher.

One of the prime reasons is the lack of family physicians in the community and the fact that people without a family doctor turn to the ER instead for care.

“It’s fair to say that but really it’s a multi-factoral situation. There’s not just one root cause,” said Panessa of a critical lack of family physicians.

Data compiled earlier this year through Northern Health estimated that half the population of Terrace and

Well being-treatment partnership bolsters unexpected emergency response, transportation in northern Manitoba Very first Nations

Leaders representing 15 Initially Nations in northern Manitoba are singing the praises of a new partnership, which they hope can fill some gaps in crisis services when encouraging their communities acquire management of their wellness care.

The settlement, between Four Arrows Regional Overall health Authority and Keewatin Tribal Council, covers emergency clinical responder coaching and health-related transportation. 

In accordance to a joint news release Tuesday, 12 graduates of an 11-week crisis health-related responders instruction system been given their Crisis Professional medical Reaction Certificates of Practice from the University of Paramedics Manitoba.

A different 24 college students from seven First Nation communities obtained highly developed to start with-support certificates.

Scott Harper is the grand chief of Island Lake Tribal Council, which addresses four northeastern 1st Nations and is accountable for 4 Arrows Regional Overall health Authority. In an job interview with CBC, he reported the partnership is quite important for the communities, “in particular the companies that we’re striving to develop in our communities and that are usually not offered.”

In accordance to Harper, these communities have been lobbying for much more medical practitioners, nurses and healthcare facility companies.

“Currently there is nothing like that in our local community, specifically with the inhabitants and size of our communities, which is rather greater than some of the spots that do have hospitals and solutions like that,” he mentioned.

The initiative also expanded on-reserve well being-treatment providers. Professional medical products and provides, as perfectly as custom-made non-ambulance transportation autos have been shipped to 13 northern First Nation health and fitness centres. 

The Dodge Ram vans are outfitted with accessibility ramps and are manufactured to accommodate ambulatory, wheelchair and stretcher passenger products and services, in accordance to the information release.

The program been given funding from Indigenous Providers Canada and is getting seen as

Province takes action to stabilize northern Vancouver Island health-care services

Significant efforts are underway to stabilize and improve access to reliable health-care services, including emergency care, in Port Hardy and the Mount Waddington region.

“We are committed to improving access to health care with significant investments across northern Vancouver Island,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “Staffing shortages and challenges on the North Island have created uncertainty. The new efforts launching today will bring certainty for emergency-care services for people living in the communities of Port Hardy, on Cormorant Island, in Port McNeill and in the surrounding region.”

Emergency department services will be available from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. in Port Hardy, from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Cormorant Island, and 24 hours a day, seven days a week in Port McNeill. Regular hours will be restored as soon as possible. In the interim, these hours will allow patients and families to know where and when emergency services are available.

“We have heard the community loud and clear. People need to know when services are available and when they are not,” said Kathy MacNeil, president and CEO, Island Health. “To prevent unexpected closures, Island Health is temporarily suspending overnight emergency department services in Port Hardy and on Cormorant Island while our new measures come into place. We will resume regular hours as soon as possible, and work to immediately accelerate efforts to expand services and strengthen staffing throughout the region.”

Stabilizing and supporting staffing throughout northern Vancouver Island is key to health-care access. This includes enhancing staff recruitment and retention incentives for eligible staff with travel-wage increases, upgraded accommodations for travelling staff, and more protection-service officers to improve safety and site support. 

Island Health will establish daily shuttle services between Port Hardy and Port McNeill hospitals, as well as daily shuttles to Campbell River and the Comox Valley

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