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Nurses Shortage Hits Remote First Nation

By Randy Thoms Aug 26, 2022 | 10:09 AM

Nenad Stojkovic / CC

The countrywide shortage of nurses is being felt in Ontario’s Far North.

The community of Kashechewan says its health care system is operating on life support.

A shortage of nurses has left its nursing station to operate on an emergency-only basis for the past month.

It is usually staffed by nine nurses. It is down to three.

“We don’t have the prestige or privilege to drive to another health care centre or facility to get medical attention of our clients. I am also concerned about the well-being of the nursing staff. This is not good at all,” says Health Director Jonathan Solomon.

The nursing station is administered by First Nations Inuit Health Branch/Indigenous Services Canada.

Community leaders are calling for better recruitment methods from the agency.

“We understand there is a shortage of nurses in Ontario and across the country. When you consider health
care in remote communities, access to adequate health care is already a challenge. Add the current climate
of the shortage of nurses, First Nations are in crisis. Kashechewan is facing this predicament,” said Chief
Gaius Wesley.

About 1,900 people live in Kashechewan First Nation which is accessible by plane most of the year.


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