Business as usual for Stanton
Health care unaffected by division

Terry Halifax
Northern News Services

NNSL (Apr 02/99) - The patients and clients of Health and Social Services will not be affected through the transition from division, officials said.

Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services, Penny Ballantyne, said it will be business as usual for the citizens of the East and Western Arctic.

"For the clients, they won't experience any immediate difference," she explained.

"The same people will be running the front line that are there today."

"The main difference will be how the boards are funded and to whom they report," she said.

"Right now, these boards are funded by the GNWT and they're accountable to the minister."

Nunavut will take over the funding of their own programs, she said.

"As of April 1, they'll be funded by the government of Nunavut and accountable to the Honourable Ed Picco," Ballantyne said.

The transition for division has been thought through well in advance, to ensure a trouble-free takeover of the delivery of programs, Ballantyne said.

"We've really worked very hard with Nunavut Health and Social Services to make sure that we would have a very smooth transition, so that it would be quite seamless as far as the clients were concerned," Ballantyne said.

"I'm quite confident that we won't encounter any glitches as we move through the transition," she said.

"I'm very confident that Nunavut Health and Social Services are ready and able to take over."

The community of Holman, was formerly funded by the Kitikmeot Health Board but will receive service from the Inuvik Regional Health Board, she said.

"Holman will now fall under the Inuvik Health and Social Services," she said. "The people in Holman won't notice the difference -- they'll have the same nurses and social workers (after division) that they have today."

"The difference will be whom those nurses and social workers will report to," she said.

"They'll now report to the Inuvik board."

Dennis Cleaver, chief executive officer for the Stanton Regional Health Board, agreed with Ballantyne, that there will be no interruption of service to the public.

"In terms of services there will be no change from Stanton's perspective," Cleaver said.

"We'll continue to provide the high level of support to our residents and we look forward to finding ways to continue to improve and enhance services for all residents of the NWT and Kitikmeot," he said.