In 2016, six health authorities were amalgamated into the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority (NTHSSA). Previously, these were split into: Beaufort Delta, Sahtu, Dehcho, Fort Smith, Yellowknife, and Stanton Territorial Hospital (in Yellowknife). However, due to the Tlicho Self Government Agreement, Tlicho communities continue to be managed by the Tlicho Community Services Agency. The Hay River Health and Social Services Authority is in the interim also continuing its own operations until negotiations are completed to bring them within the NTHSSA. A medical license costs $200/year. In order to qualify for a license, one must be eligible for a full unrestricted license in another Canadian jurisdiction (no provisional licenses available).
The Beaufort Delta is centred around its hospital in Inuvik. The Inuvik Regional Hospital is the only hospital in Canada above the Arctic Circle. This region serves the communities of Inuvik, Aklavik, Fort McPherson, Tsiigehtchic, Tuktoyaktuk, Paulatuk, Ulukhaktok, and Sachs Harbour. The 51-bed Inuvik Regional Hospital has 24-hour ER, inpatients, long-term care, rehabilitation, GP-obstetrics, GP-surgery/visiting surgeons, ultrasound, x-ray, laboratory, family medicine clinics, and visiting specialist clinics. The referral centres for this region are Yellowknife and Edmonton for more complex cases.
All physicians in this region live in Inuvik, and they make regular community visits to the outlying communities.
This region has over 2600 residents from the communities of Norman Wells, Fort Good Hope, Tulita, Deline, and Colville Lake. The Sahtu Got’ine Regional Health and Social Services Centre is in Norman Wells. This centre has a physician, nurses, a mental health and addictions counselor, social workers, home support workers, and visiting specialists (psychiatry, OT, SLP, PT, nutrition, optometry), x-rays, and a laboratory.
This region has over 3400 residents spread over 8 communities: Fort Liard, Nahanni Butte, Wrigley, Jean Marie River, Fort Providence, Fort Simpson, Kakisa, and Trout Lake.
Fort Simpson has a laboratory, x-ray, midwifery, 2 ER beds and 5 clinic rooms. Maximum patient observation is 6 hours before requiring a MedEvac transfer. The referral centres for this region are Yellowknife and Edmonton for more complex cases. This region is allocated 2-3 physicians, which is currently covered by locums. The physicians share call duties, and board a Cessna 206 (small chartered airplane) to provide primary health services to several communities on a monthly basis. A physician would only be in Wrigley, Trout Lake, Jean Marie River and Nahanni Butte for a day or two each month. The physician would charter to Fort Liard and Fort Providence for 4-5 days depending on the demand for health service. In each of the communities, there is accommodation available for the physician to overnight, if needed.
This region serves 2400 residents in Fort Smith, Fort Resolution, as well as the Northern Alberta communities of Thebacha N’ere (Bordertown), Fort Fitzgerald, and Peace Point. The hospital in Fort Smith has a 24-hour ER, clinics, birthing rooms (serviced by midwives), hemodialysis, x-ray, and laboratory. There are 4 physicians covering this region. Acute patients are stabilized and transferred to Yellowknife or to Edmonton if more complex.
Yellowknife / Stanton
The Yellowknife region has over 20,000 residents in the communities of Dettah, Fort Resolution, Lutsel K’e, NDilo, and Yellowknife.
Stanton Territorial Hospital offers a full spectrum of health care services for patients throughout NWT and the Kitikmeot region of Nunavut. It has a 24-hour ER, 20 bed Medicine Unit, 10 bed Pediatrics Unit, 10 bed Psychiatry Unit, 12 bed Extended Care Unit, 13 bed Obstetrics Unit, 4 bed Intensive Care Unit, 4 chair dialysis unit, and 10 bed Surgery Unit. There are several permanent specialist services (pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology, internal medicine, general surgery, anesthesiology, orthopedics, ophthalmology, psychiatry, ENT, radiology) and 11 visiting ones. Diagnostic imaging services include CT, x-ray, ultrasound, and fluoroscopy. The referral centre for more complex cases is Edmonton.
The new Stanton Territorial Hospital has opened. Due to the high costs of this hospital, the building of new health centres in some communities have been delayed.
Tlicho covers communities of Behchoko, Whati, Gameti, and Wekweeti. There is no hospital in this region, only community health centres staffed by nurses. The referral centre is Yellowknife or Edmonton for more complex patients.
Healthcare in Hay River is split between the H.H. Williams Memorial Hospital and the Hay River Regional Health Centre. At the 19 bed Health Centre, there is an ER, inpatient beds (adult and pediatric, palliative care, respite care, perioperative care, recovery room), x-ray, ultrasound, hemodialysis, laboratory, clinics, midwifery, rehabilitation, and visiting specialists. Homecare, social services, and long-term care are at the H.H. Williams Memorial Hospital.
This region serves Hay River’s 3600 inhabitants and Enterprise’s 100 inhabitants. The referral centre is Yellowknife or Edmonton for more complex patients.
Most communities pay sessional rates (e.g. $1300/day plus on-call at $158/hr in Hay River), but fee-for-service also exists, particularly in Yellowknife. Current FFS rates are available here: https://www.hss.gov.nt.ca/sites/hss/files/resources/insured-services-tariff.pdf
For full-time work, there are recruitment/retention bonuses, moving assistance, and a northern allowance. More details available at: http://www.practicenorth.ca/