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New legislation sets stage for health system transformation

YELLOWKNIFE (June 11, 2015) – A major step towards the vision of Best Health, Best Care for a Better Future shared by Minister of Health and Social Services Glen Abernethy, the Department of Health and Social Services and all NWT Health and Social Services was taken last week.

On June 4th, 2015; Bill 44An Act to Amend the Hospital Insurance and Health and Social Services Administration Act received assent in the Legislative Assembly. The legislation will improve patient and client care by enabling health and social services across the NWT to work as one system.

Bill 44 allows for the establishment of a single Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority for the entire health and social services system, recognizing the special status of the Tlicho Community Services Agency, and includes provisions to bring the Hay River Health and Social Services Authority (HRHSSA) in at a later date to accommodate the negotiations required to bring HRHSSA employees into the public service. The Bill also allows for the establishment of Regional Wellness Councils, whose Chairs will come together along with the Chair of the Tlicho Community Services Agency to sit on a Territorial Board of Management to govern the Territorial Authority.

“This marks an important milestone as we work together to improve the health and social services system and achieve our goal of providing the Best Health, Best Care for a Better Future for the people of the NWT,” said Minister Abernethy. “Everything we do is focused upon improving care and services for NWT residents, and giving them a greater voice and influence on the services they receive.”

The Act builds on feedback from the discussion paper, Caring for our People, released in August of 2014, and information sessions held with communities, Aboriginal governments and other stakeholders across the NWT over the last year.

An implementation plan will set out how the department and authorities will continue to work to transform the health and social services system when the Act comes into effect to provide the highest quality care and services and encourage people to make healthy choices to keep individuals, families and communities healthy and strong. 

Media inquiries:

Roya Grinsted
Communications Officer
Office of the Premier/Cabinet
Government of the Northwest Territories
Phone: (867) 669-2308
E-mail: Roya_Grinsted@gov.nt.ca