Improve Access and Wait times to Receive Quality Care

Northerners want improved access to health care services and reduced wait times

Overwhelmingly, when Northerners are asked how their experience with the health care system can be improved, access is their top word of choice.  

Accessible health care means getting the quality care you and your family need, when and where you need it, and in a timely manner. This could include help from a family doctor or nurse practitioner, an Aboriginal or Francophone community health centre, a family health team, an integrated health care team, a specialist, mental health and addiction counsellor, long-term care home, or a home and community care provider. Sometimes we need the services of several of these providers, particularly as we age. Improving access touches a number of areas within the broader health care system including:
  • More timely access to primary and specialty care.
  • Less time waiting when trying to access acute care (emergency rooms, hospitals, family physicians).
  • Greater access and a smoother transition to home and community-based care.
  • More access to mental health and/or addiction services.
  • Being able to access the care needed in a culturally responsive way – whether it is in French or adapting approaches that are cognizant of Aboriginal history and culture.
  • Improving access to a long-term care bed in a timely manner. 
  • Being able to receive rehabilitative care to continue to live healthy and well following an acute care episode.