In the News
Yukon Hospital Corporation
This week Brian Gillen, Chair of the Yukon Hospital Corporation Board of Trustees, and Jason Bilsky, Chief Executive Officer of the Yukon Hospital corporation, appeared as witnesses in the Legislative Assembly. This was the second time during our mandate that Yukon Hospital Corp. officials have appeared as witnesses in the Legislative Assembly. Under the previous Yukon Party government, witnesses from government entities appeared only sporadically in the Legislative Assembly, making it difficult for Yukoners to know what was happening. Our Liberal Caucus pledged to require all Yukon Government entities appear before the Legislative Assembly once per year as part of our commitment to increase transparency. We will continue to deliver on this commitment to Yukoners.
The Yukon Hospital Corporation. officials addressed questions surrounding bed pressures and surgical beds at Whitehorse General Hospital that came up this week. Health and Social Services Minister Pauline Frost has been working closely with the Yukon Hospital Corporation to address overcapacity concerns. Efforts to date have been effective, as the Chair reported:
“The opening of Whistle Bend Place and the additional 10 new beds being opened at the Thompson Centre will reduce the number of alternate level care patients in the hospital and further lessen occupancy challenges.”
-Brian Gillen, Chair of the Yukon Hospital Corpporation. Board of Trustees
Further testimony addressed misleading claims by the NDP that surgical beds were being closed at the Whitehorse General Hospital. The CEO was able to clarify that no surgical beds have been closed.
“We have been able to decrease average occupancy from 96 or 95 to 87 percent.”
-Jason Bilsky, CEO of the Yukon Hospital Corpporation.
Our Liberal Caucus is proud of Minister Frost’s hard work together with the Yukon Hospital Corporation. to address pressures at Whitehorse General Hospital. We appreciate their work balancing the day to day requirements and fluctuating demands placed on Yukon’s hospitals. We will continue to work with health care providers and partners to ensure all Yukoners receive the care they need in a timely fashion.
Minister McPhee cleared up some inaccuracies this week around cuts to substitute teachers in the territory. Despite incorrect information brought to the House from the official opposition, the facts are that the budget for substitute teachers has grown this year by more than 400,000.
With media, the Minister was also able to clarify the number of substitute teachers is currently 221. With applications processing, more substitutes will soon be available. We value the critical role substitute teachers play in our schools and Minister McPhee has taken action to improve the application process for substitute teachers in Yukon.
Elementary enrolment was another topic of debate this week, both in the House and with reporters outside. While two elementary schools are nearing capacity, this is not the case at nine other Whitehorse elementary schools. As of September, there are 700 open seats for elementary school children in Whitehorse. The department of education is currently seeking to add portables to some schools to increase the number of classroom spaces. A ten-year-long plan is under development through the capital planning process to address increasing student enrolment. As we work on the issue of increasing enrolment, we are taking into account all Whitehorse elementary schools.
|School||Grades||Enrollment||Max Capacity (Enrollment)||Classrooms||% Max Capacity|
|Christ the King Elementary School||K-7||328||392||17||84%|
|Elijah Smith Elementary School||K-7||251||368||16||68%|
|Golden Horn Elementary School||K-7||240||246||11||98%|
|Grey Mountain Primary School||K-3||57||84||4||68%|
|Hidden Valley Elementary School||K-7||130||172||8||76%|
|Holy Family Elementary School||K-7||177||184||8||96%|
|Jack Hulland Elementary School||K-7||377||454||20||83%|
|Selkirk Elementary School||K-7||282||339||15||83%|
|Takhini Elementary School||K-7||144||278||12||52%|
|Whitehorse Elementary School||K-7||479||552||24||87%|