Reduced services as Behchokǫ̀ faces nursing shortage

Behchokǫ̀ residents are warned a “temporary shortage of nurses” will mean reduced services at the Mary Adele Bishop Health Centre from January 20 to 25.

Behchokǫ̀ is one of several communities in the Northwest Territories facing healthcare shortages in recent months: Fort Smith is dealing with a month-long shortage this January while Hay River had difficulty finding doctors throughout the summer of 2019. The Behchokǫ̀ health centre also faced a week-long nursing shortage in July.

From January 20 to 25 there will be no regularly scheduled afternoon appointments with a community health nurse, said Sara Nash, the Tłı̨chǫ Community Services Agency’s director of health and social services, in a statement.


Nash said there will be no appointments for the well adult program or chronic disease management. However, regular services will continue for the doctor’s clinic, prenatal program, and well child program.

Staff were said to be contacting any residents whose appointments are affected by the changes. A nurse will be available around the clock for “urgent and emergency” cases.

Residents with questions are asked to contact the manager of health services at (867) 392-6075.