Equipment failures have resulted in significant delays in medevac services on more than one occasion, leading to further complications in emergency medical situations, according to Iqaluit-Niaqunnguu MLA Pat Angnakak.

“When you’re awarded a contract to do a certain job, it is accountability that we’re looking for,” says Iqaluit-Niaqunnguu MLA Pat Angnakak.

She asked Health Minister George Hickes on Tuesday to explain the GN’s oversight of how airline companies keep their fleets in “top condition and ready to fly at a moment’s notice.”

Hickes conceded that this issue has been brought to his attention a couple of times “in the last little while.”

“We are in dialogue with our contracted provider and this issue is being raised with them. They are responsible to keep a fleet of aircraft and backup aircraft where possible
or needed,” Hickes said. “I am aware of this issue and there will be ongoing dialogue with the contractor.”

Angnakak said the issue has been raised in the legislative assembly several times previously.

“I guess you just start to look at accountability. When you’re awarded a contract to do a certain job, it is accountability that we’re looking for,” she said.

Hickes reiterated that discussions about performance are ongoing with the medevac contractor.

Angnakak was not satisfied.

“I just hear the same thing, ‘Oh well, we’re talking with them. It’s ongoing. We’re talking with them. It’s ongoing.’ Yet I think these problems are ongoing,” she said. “Obviously the talk might not be working and maybe a little more needs to be done.”

The Department of Health projects 2,400 medevacs will be needed in Nunavut this year.


Derek Neary has been reporting on developments in the North for 18 years. When he's not writing for Nunavut News, he's working on Northern News Services' special publications such as Opportunities North,...

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