Main Content

Hospital Pressures

Service impacts and longer wait times are becoming more regular as we face new and ongoing pressures. Over the past few years, these challenges have come together to create a significant strain on Yukon's hospitals. While these issues are complex and don't have a simple fix, we want to help you understand how these challenges might impact the care you or your loved ones receive at our hospitals.


Understanding the Challenges


Health Human Resources

At the heart of Yukon's hospitals lies an essential pillar: our dedicated workforce. However, like the rest of Canada, we are facing ongoing challenges with staffing shortages across critical areas such as nursing, laboratory and imaging, and technical roles including Information Systems and Technology.

Some ways we’re bridging the staffing gap:

  • Continuous and proactive recruitment marketing - Join our team!
  • Indigenous Workforce Initiative - Pathways for employment within our hospitals for Yukon First Nations
  • Yukon’s Health Human Resources Steering Committee - a collaborative effort between Yukon Hospitals, the Yukon Government, and other key partners in the health system.
  • Improving working conditions through continuous professional growth and specialization mentorships, learning programs and leadership development, more scheduling flexibility through ‘rotational’ positions and addressing verbal abuse towards our staff.


Rising Costs and Supply Challenges

Like many sectors, healthcare is not immune to inflation, which drives up the prices of goods and services, impacting our operational expenses. We’ve seen shortages across the healthcare industry of essential medical supplies and equipment which has led to increased costs as well as delays in patient care. These financial pressures can impact the availability of resources, equipment, and essential supplies needed for efficient hospital operations

Some ways we’re addressing financial constraints:

  • Implementing efficient operational practices to make the most of available resources and reduce wastage.
  • Our financial team is diligently analyzing budgets, ensuring that funds are allocated where they're needed most while minimizing unnecessary expenditures.
  • Having conversations with our partners to address funding needs.

We believe in transparent financial reporting to keep the community informed about how resources are being managed and utilized. See our latest financial statements and 2022-23 Year in Review.


Aging and Growing Population

As the demographics of our territory change, we need to address the unique healthcare needs of a diverse and changing population faster than we anticipated as part of our planning. Yukon’s aging population has more chronic diseases and age-related health concerns that require specialized care. Also, as the territory grows, we are seeing an increased demand on our hospitals services as well as a wider range of healthcare needs.

Over the past year, new highs were set at Whitehorse General Hospital for: 

  • Admissions (3,862)
  • Emergency visits (36,326)
  • MRI scans (3,101).
  • Our specialist clinic saw a record high 11,310 visits last year

Some ways we’re addressing the impact of changing demographics:

  • Notifying patients of wait times. Limited hospital bed availability, increased wait times for services such as emergency department visits, lab and imaging, growing waits for surgeries are now more common.
  • With a diverse population, we're prioritizing cultural sensitivity in our care delivery, ensuring that our services align with the cultural and linguistic preferences of our patients.



Collaboration and Support

We understand that navigating these challenges requires collaboration. That's why we're working with our partners and healthcare stakeholders to find comprehensive solutions. Open conversations and shared efforts are key to creating a resilient and sustainable hospital system that meets the needs of our communities.


Our Commitment to Quality Care

In the face of these challenges, our commitment to providing quality care remains unwavering. We recognize the impact of staffing shortages, rising costs, and an evolving healthcare landscape on our patients and their families. Rest assured, our focus remains on delivering exceptional care to everyone who seeks treatment within our hospitals.


Stay Informed, Stay Engaged

We believe that an informed community is a powerful force for positive change. By staying informed about the challenges we're facing and the strategies we're implementing, you become an active part of our journey to better hospital care. We encourage you to engage with us, ask questions and share your thoughts.


Together, we're navigating challenges and shaping a brighter future for hospital care in Yukon.