November 22, 2023, WHITEHORSE – The Yukon Liberal Caucus wishes to respond to the significant misinformation provided to Yukoners by the Yukon Party about our territory’s health care system.
The Yukon Party says: Yukoners without a family doctor are being told to go to the emergency room, which is causing more stress in the ER.
JUST THE FACTS: Emergency Departments are a vital part of patient journeys in every province and territory across Canada. Urgency is not the only metric used to determine whether an ER visit is necessary. It is irresponsible to suggest that Yukoners should not access medical care when they need it, and we encourage all Yukoners who need to use emergency services to continue to do so.
The Yukon Party says: The Government is planning to poach doctors with existing practices to work at the walk-in clinic mandated by the Confidence and Supply Agreement, which will divert family doctors from their current patients.
JUST THE FACTS: We’re not. We’re listening to doctors about what is fair compensation and creating an incentive for doctors without practices to take on patients. The Yukon Medical Association has endorsed this plan.
The Yukon Party says: The chronic underfunding of the hospital is now resulting in fewer medical images such as mammograms, MRIs, CT scans, X-rays, and ultrasounds.
JUST THE FACTS:
- The Yukon Liberal Government budgeted $105.84 million for the Yukon Hospital Corporation in the 2023-24 budget. The Yukon Party voted against this funding.
- The Hospital Corporation Board of Directors has said increased wait times are the result of an increased demand for services, not underfunding, and noted in the Yukon Legislative Assembly on November 21st that there was actually an increase in services in August, September, and October 2023, and that they are now returning to a ‘normal’ level of services.
- The Yukon Liberal government has budgeted an additional $17.11 million in the 2023-24 supplementary estimates, to help the hospital respond to an increased demand for services, and the Yukon Party opposition has already indicated they will vote against these funds as well.
- We encourage them to put actions behind their words and vote to support this increase to hospital funding.
The Yukon Party says: “Areas such as mammography were able to provide 120 per week and have been reduced to 75.” – Yukon Party Health and Social Services Critic Brad Cathers, Yukon Legislative Assembly, in the Yukon Legislative Assembly, November 21, 2023.
JUST THE FACTS: “I think it’s important that I clarify some of the facts… The numbers that were spoken about — I don’t think they are quite correct… As far as I am concerned, there is an increase in the level of services that we are able to provide.” – Jason Bilsky, Chief Executive Officer, Yukon Hospital Corporation, in the Yukon Legislative Assembly, November 21, 2023
The Yukon Party says: “An e-mail that went out in early November set specific caps. We understand that in the area of x-ray, for example, in some cases those caps have been reached by midmorning.” – Yukon Party Health and Social Services Critic Brad Cathers, Yukon Legislative Assembly, in the Yukon Legislative Assembly, November 21, 2023.
JUST THE FACTS: “I think it’s not quite correct to say that we had reached a cap, so mid-morning, we stop providing. That is not what happens. What happens is, we certainly triage and make sure we are meeting the most urgent demands during the day.” – Jason Bilsky, Chief Executive Officer, Yukon Hospital Corporation, in the Yukon Legislative Assembly, November 21, 2023
Once again, the Yukon Party continues to provide misinformation to Yukoners about the services that they rely on. Yukoners deserve better than an official opposition that puts their political gains above the health and well-being of Yukoners.