This is a joint news release between the Government of Yukon and the Council of Yukon First Nations.
The Government of Yukon is committed to delivering health and social services in a way that is integrated, collaborative, culturally safe, anti-racist and puts Yukoners at the centre. As part of this commitment, the Department of Health and Social Services is developing new legislation to create Health and Wellness Yukon/Santé et mieux-être Yukon/Shäw Kwä’a, the Yukon’s new health authority, with guidance from health system and Yukon First Nations partners. This new legislation is expected to be tabled in spring 2024.
Putting People First recommendation 1.2 directs the Government of Yukon to create Health and Wellness Yukon, “a new arm’s-length government agency that delivers basic health and social services in the territory”. Working with health system partners and Yukon First Nations is the first step in laying the foundation for the territory’s new health authority and will help drive health system transformation forward so that it is more responsive to Yukoners’ individual and community needs.
A Health Transformation Advisory Committee, comprising three health sector leaders and three Yukon First Nations senior officials selected by the Chiefs’ Committee on Health, has been created to actively support the development of this important legislation. This new committee will also advise on the development of Yukon’s health authority and the ongoing implementation of Putting People First, the government’s road map to creating a health and social system that better serves the needs of Yukoners.
New Health and Wellness Yukon legislation will address essential areas, including:
- Inclusive governance: Collaborating with Yukon First Nations to establish foundational governance frameworks and principles to address systemic racism, cultural safety and inclusive care
- Equitable care: Involving patients and Yukoners in how Health and Wellness Yukon operates
- Enhanced accountability: Establishing transparent mechanisms for accountability within Health and Wellness Yukon
- Clear responsibilities: Defining program, service and functional responsibilities for both the Department of Health and Social Services and Health and Wellness
The Health Transformation Advisory Committee will also advise on broader objectives including shaping a comprehensive Territorial Health Plan and advancing additional Putting People First recommendations.
Advancing legislation for Health and Wellness Yukon with guidance and insight from health system partners including Yukon First Nations will help lay the foundation for a modern, responsive health authority that reflects the values and interests of Yukoners. This is an essential step to transform the Yukon’s health and social system to provide care that is centred on individuals, families and communities.
–Minister of Health and Social Services Tracy-Anne McPhee
As we embark on this collaborative journey to shape the future of health care in the Yukon, we are reminded of the strength and wisdom of our ancestors. This legislation is an opportunity to not only transform our health system but also honour our culture. Yukon First Nations stand committed to working alongside Yukon government partners to ensure that the new health authority reflects the values, interests and wellbeing of all Yukoners.
–Chair of the Chiefs’ Committee on Health Chief Pauline Frost
Collaborating on Health and Wellness Yukon is crucial to upholding and valuing our relationship with Yukon First Nations. By working in partnership to tackle health disparities and integrating cultural safety and humility into the foundation of our health and social services system, we can create a better system that reflects Yukon First Nations knowledge, culture and traditions.
–Co-chair of the Health Transformation Advisory Committee and Deputy Minister Health and Social Services and Tiffany Boyd
The development of Health and Wellness Yukon legislation in collaboration with Yukon First Nations signifies a transformative step towards a health care system that respects our cultural values and truly serves the needs and interests of Yukon First Nations. This initiative paves the way for a health care system centred on individuals, their families, and their communities, and is a significant stride towards cultural safety, inclusivity and interconnected care.
-Co-chair of the Health Transformation Advisory Committee Stephen Mills
- The Health Transformation Advisory Committee comprises:
- Doris Bill, Kwanlin Dün First Nation Citizen and senior official appointed by the Chiefs’ Committee on Health
- Diane Strand, Champagne and Aishihik First Nations Citizen and senior official appointed by the Chiefs’ Committee on Health
- Stephen Mills, Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation Citizen and senior official appointed by the Chiefs’ Committee on Health
- Deputy Minster of Health Tiffany Boyd
- Deputy Minister of Social Services Ed van Randen
- Yukon Hospital Corporation CEO Jason Bilsky
- The Health Transformation Advisory Committee will consult with Yukon First Nations and health system providers for external advice and expertise as needed.
- The committee will meet as frequently as needed to respond to the priorities in the jointly developed workplan in a timely manner.
- The Health Transformation Advisory Committee will liaise with the recently formed Chiefs’ Committee on Health and the Health and Social Services Minister to understand priorities and seek direction on the creation of Health and Wellness Yukon.
Communications, Council of Yukon First Nations
News release #: