Yukon Party renews its criticism of Yukon Hospital Corporation funding following CBC article.

Whitehorse General Hospital in Whitehorse, YT (Photo: Yukon Hospitals, Facebook)

Health Critic Brad Cathers quoted documents acquired by the public broadcaster through an Access to Information request, while Minister McPhee stands by the funding of the Hospital Corporation.

Health and Social Services Minister Tracy-Anne McPhee is under fire yet again regarding the Yukon Hospital Corporation.

During the fall sitting, Lake Laberge MLA and Health Critic Brad Cathers repeatedly raised concerns regarding the Ernst & Young financial review of the Yukon Hospital Corporation. When the review was finally released to the public in early December, Yukoners found that the review said that steps need to be taken to address the Hospital Corporation’s chronic cash flow and operating shortfall.

At the Yukon Legislative Assembly on Tuesday, Cathers raised concerns again, following a news story from earlier that day.

“Last fall, we raised concerns about the impacts of sweeping service cuts imposed at Yukon hospitals as a direct result of the Liberal government’s chronic underfunding,” said Cathers. “This morning, CBC revealed documents acquired through Access to Information showing how deep those cuts went.”

“They also revealed that 14 physicians and surgeons wrote to the Premier and Ministers to express their disappointment and anger. The Minister of Health has tried to downplay these cuts, but it’s clear they had a big impact on Yukon patients. Does the Minister now acknowledge that these service cuts were a direct result of the Liberal government’s chronic underfunding of our hospitals?”

McPhee maintained that there was no underfunding issue with the Yukon Hospital Corporation, but when pressed later about the risk of similar cuts later this year, she offered the assurance that the Government of Yukon had been working better with the Hospital Corporation than ever before.

“The Yukon Party is not interested in the facts of the situation,” said McPhee. “But I can tell you what it is that will avoid these kinds of situations in the future, and that is relationship building. The relationship that we have built with the Yukon Hospital Corporation, with the Yukon Medical Association, with allied health professionals, with the nursing associations in this territory are markedly better than they have ever been before.”

“We work together constantly to make sure that the proper funding is available to the Yukon Hospital Corporation , and more importantly, that Yukoners are served by the best hospital system, perhaps, in Canada.”

Speaking with media later, McPhee clarified that as impressed as she is with the territory’s hospital system, the health authority legislation would dismantle the existing system in an attempt to provide services without barriers or discrimination.  

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