Yukon government passes Health Authority Act

From left to right: Ta'an Kwach'an Council Chief Amanda Leas, HTAC Co-Chair Stephen Mills, and Vuntut Gwitchin Chief Pauline Frost were frustrated not to see the Health Authority pass on April 26 (Photo: S. Bonell)

Initial health authority board to be appointed by 2025.

The Yukon Government has passed Bill 38, or the Health Authority Act.

After a long spring sitting full of debate, amendments, and frustration on both sides of the assembly, the Health Authority Act became law on April 29 following a 10 to 8 vote at the Yukon Legislative Assembly.

The most recent frustrations came on April 25, when the final revised bill was tabled and the Yukon government asked for unanimous consent to move ahead with third reading without letting the document sit for one day. The Yukon Party voted against the unanimous consent, frustrating members of the Health Transformation Advisory Committee and the Chief’s Committee on Health who were in the gallery that day, and unable to attend the next sitting day due to previous commitments.

Now that the Health Authority Act has passed, the next step in transforming healthcare in the Yukon is to appoint the initial Shäw Kwä’ą board. According to information sessions by the Health Transformation Advisory Committee and the Department of Health and Social Services, this process should be complete by 2025 at the latest.

Once an initial board has been appointed, the long process of shifting the territory’s entire healthcare system to the new health authority will begin. Speaking with CHON-FM, Health and Social Services Minister Tracy-Anne McPhee says that several areas of her healthcare that will need to transition, and the full transition period sill take years. McPhee says that hospital operations and primary care will transition first, while community health centres will likely be some of the last to fall under Shäw Kwä’ą.

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