For Release # 12-041
March 14, 2012
WHITEHORSE—Health and Social Services Minister Doug Graham announced today that additional beds will open in Thomson Centre extended care facility later this year.
“The pressure on the supply of continuing care beds in Yukon continues to increase. We presently have four extended care facilities and all our beds are full. Opening an additional 10 beds in Thomson Centre will ease some of the pressure on home care, the other care facilities and Whitehorse General Hospital,” Graham said.
Work to upgrade the facility last year included the preparation of an additional 10-bed unit. Subject to legislative approval, government has committed $2.2 million to furnish and staff the unit in 2012. It is expected that it will open in fall of this year.
“One of the biggest challenges for us is staffing the unit,” Graham added. “To provide care to 10 additional individuals, we need 17 staff and it takes time to get the right staff in place.”
The minister said Health and Social Services has also received $110,000 to assess long-term continuing care needs in order to ensure appropriate investments are made. As well, the department has allocated $653,000 in capital funds to begin design work on a replacement for Alexander McDonald Lodge in Dawson City.
“A growing number of baby boomers are retiring in Yukon and many of them may require some level of residential care. The number of seniors staying here continues to increase, and we need to plan ahead to make sure we are properly equipped to meet their needs,” Graham added.
Work is expected to begin immediately to open the 10 new beds at Thomson Centre.
Yukon currently has 172 continuing care beds.