Government of Yukon

December 19, 2013

Health needs assessments for Watson Lake and Dawson City tabled

WHITEHORSE—Minister of Health and Social Services Doug Graham yesterday tabled the health needs assessment for Watson Lake and Dawson City.

The report, undertaken by Dr. David Peachey, fulfills Yukon government’s commitment made to the Office of the Auditor General earlier this year and looks at the health needs of both communities.

“This report focuses on the current state of health services and health needs in each community and the future needs of community residents,” Graham said. “It contains some excellent information that government can use for future planning.”

The minister has directed the Health and Social Services department to begin working with physicians in both Watson Lake and Dawson City, and the Yukon Hospital Corporation, to move towards a collaborative care model starting with Dawson City.

“This report clearly articulates the need for better integration of mental health and addictions care within both the physician and program communities, along with the acute care program,” Graham said. “Dawson City provides us with the perfect opportunity since acute care is a new service for that community.

“We don’t have to follow traditions and we now have the opportunity to do something different, to care for our citizens in a more integrated, collaborative model.”

The assessment also touched on the needs of seniors.

“We hope to work with the hospitals to use acute care beds in rural Yukon for palliative and respite care to better support our seniors aging in place” Graham added.

Graham also said the work completed by Dr. Peachey builds on the changing direction of Yukon’s health care system, from one that is driven by the acute care needs, to one that is more preventive, collaborative and integrated.



Elaine Schiman
Cabinet Communications

Pat Living
Communications, Health and Social Services

News Release #13-322