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MLAs co operate on collaborative care

Yukon's legislative assembly agrees that Dawson City's new hospital should incorporate a collaborative care model.

Yukon’s legislative assembly agrees that Dawson City’s new hospital should incorporate a collaborative care model.

That essentially means that different types of health-care professionals, such as doctors, nurses and pharmacists, work as a team to deliver patient care.

Interim Liberal Leader Sandy Silver brought forward the motion, which was subsequently amended by Health Minister Doug Graham and then sub-amended by Premier Darrell Pasloski.

The original motion read, “That this House urges the government of Yukon to work with health professionals and key stakeholders in Dawson City to transition the Dawson City hospital into a collaborative primary health-care facility that supports community nurses and meets the needs of the community.”

Silver pointed to an auditor general’s report that found that Yukon government had not done the appropriate needs assessment to determine that the community would benefit from an acute care facility.

Acute care means having around-the-clock emergency access to physicians. The Yukon government has committed to provide that in Dawson City.

Silver said he hopes that the acute services won’t take away from other important elements of community health.

“Residents want nurses to use their full capacity in the facility and in the community. To me that means health promotion, health care, mental health services, services in the school, and the list goes on. I have also heard from the doctors very loud and very clear. Doctors provide distinct skills, knowledge et cetera. It’s different from other health care professionals and it is a vital part of the whole health care team.”

Graham said that a needs assessment is currently being done, as recommended by the auditor general.

It is currently under review, and recommendations will be released shortly, he said.

Graham spoke at length to the need for different health-care professionals to work together to provide the highest level of care, so opposition members were surprised when he proposed an amendment that removed the word “collaborative” from the motion.

He suggest that the government work “to operate the Dawson City hospital as an acute care and community care facility that supports multi-disciplinary health care services, and access to technology including telehealth.”

But “multi-disciplinary” and “collaborative” mean the same thing, said Community Services Minister Brad Cathers when opposition members protested.

“I don’t think I’ve ever heard so much outrage before over the use of terms that a thesaurus would tell you are basically identical.”

Pasloski suggested changing the amendment to read “multi-disciplinary collaborative health care services.”

Everyone agreed that was a good solution, and the motion passed unanimously as amended.

Contact Jacqueline Ronson at