December 18, 2023, WHITEHORSE – Pushing back against misinformation provided by the Yukon Party, the Yukon Liberal Government is reminding Yukoners that it regularly and actively works with the Yukon Hospital Corporation (YHC) to evaluate the corporation’s needs and help mitigate future budgetary considerations.
While the Yukon Liberal Government is hard at work improving the Yukon’s healthcare system, former Health Minister and Yukon Party MLA Brad Cathers and his Yukon Party colleagues continue to misinform the public, oppose efforts to improve our system, and vote against providing the funding necessary to implement health-focused projects and programs.
While he continues his record of opposition and obstructionism, MLA Cathers is uniquely positioned to provide first-hand information about his experiences mismanaging the Yukon Hospital Corporation. In 2007, former YHC Board Chair Marny Ryder told reporters that during Cathers’ tenure as health minister “the hospital has been in deep financial trouble” noting that while she brought concerns about the hospital’s budget shortfall to the government several times, the territorial government continued operating the YHC with deficits continued despite record high levels of federal funding. Ryder also told reporters that the YHC board had a good working relationship with the government until the appointment of MLA Cathers as health minister.
Yukoners want a health care system that is properly funded, where health care professionals are respected and everyone can access the services and supports they need. The Yukon Liberal Government will continue working with partners to strengthen our responsive, collaborative and sustainable territorial healthcare system despite challenges facing health care systems worldwide.
Minister of Health and Social Services and MLA for Riverdale South Tracy-Anne McPhee is taking action to improve the Yukon’s healthcare system by:
- Providing an additional $17.11 million in the 2023-24 Supplementary Estimates to help the Yukon Hospital Corporation meet its end-of-year needs. The entire Yukon Party Caucus voted against this funding.
- Opening a new walk-in clinic in downtown Whitehorse, staffed by a doctor and other health care professionals.
- Signing an Agreement in Principle with the Government of Canada for a shared plan that will invest $380 million in federal funding over 10 years in the Yukon, including $73 million for a new bilateral agreement focusing on shared health priorities.
- Recruiting a Yukon-based physician to work at the Centre de Santé Constellation Health Centre.
- Launching the Yukon’s new Health Human Resource Strategy, a collaborative and partnership-driven roadmap to better ensure that Yukoners have access to the health care services they need, when and where they need them.
- Implementing expert third-party recommendations to enhance governance, planning, budgeting, forecasting, and internal controls in collaboration with the Yukon Hospital Corporation.
- Establishing a Yukon First Nations Chiefs Committee on Health to provide direction and oversight regarding the transformation of the health and social system in the Yukon. This includes the implementation of the Putting People First report and the creation of Health and Wellness Yukon, a health authority for the territory.
- Delivering on programs and projects needed to fight the substance use health emergency.
- Signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Government that provides a framework for both governments to collaborate on the implementation and delivery of child and family services for Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Citizens.
- Finalizing an agreement with the Alzheimer Society of B.C. to expand dementia services across the territory with the First Link® Yukon Dementia Helpline to support Yukoners on their journey with dementia.
- Working with partners to develop new legislation to create Health and Wellness Yukon/Santé et mieux-être Yukon/Shäw Kwä’a, the Yukon’s new health authority, with guidance from health system and Yukon First Nations partners. This new legislation is expected to be tabled in spring 2024.
- Announcing a new First Nations land-based healing fund alongside the Council of Yukon First Nations.