‘Uncontrollable circumstances’ blamed for staff shortage at Fort Smith health centre – CBC.ca

Fort Smith Health And Social Services Sign

The Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority is warning Fort Smith, N.W.T., residents about a shortage of healthcare workers.

It says appointments at the community’s health centre will be limited due to “uncontrollable circumstances” for the rest of the month and into August.

Urgent follow-up appointments will be prioritized and there will be no same-day appointments. As well, a doctor will be on call in the emergency department.

The health authority didn’t elaborate on what “uncontrollable circumstances” are causing the disruption. The development comes as healthcare worker shortages are being reported across the country.

Last week, the Nunavut government said it was temporarily closing seven health care centres for non-urgent care.

Fort Smith residents seeking non-urgent care should call the primary care clinic. The health authority says it will update the public on the town’s Facebook page.

It’s not the first time the health centre has faced a shortage in staff. On Dec. 30, 2019, the health centre posted to Facebook that there would be a shortage of health-care providers in January 2020 because of “unforeseen circumstances.”

Fort Smith’s health centre was also forced to close down its medical clinic for two weeks in August 2018 because of a similar doctor shortage. At the time, representatives from the health authority blamed vacations during the summer season for the delays.