Health Authority Act receives Assent in the Yukon Legislative Assembly

This is a joint news release between the Government of Yukon and Council of Yukon First Nations as secretariat support to the Chiefs Committee on Health.

The Health Authority Act received Assent on April 29, 2024.

The legislation provides the legal framework to establish the Yukon’s first health authority, Shäw Kwä’ą/Health and Wellness Yukon/Santé et mieux-être Yukon. Developed in collaboration with Yukon First Nations governments, senior officials, health system partners and providers, this ground-breaking legislation sets out essential operational and governance guidelines for improving the health and wellbeing of all Yukoners.  

Emphasizing the importance of cultural and patient safety, quality assurance and support for health care workers, the creation of Shäw Kwä’ą/Health and Wellness Yukon/Santé et mieux-être Yukon will bring together health services from the Department of Health and Social Services and the Yukon Hospital Corporation to deliver day-to-day health services and some social services. It will support a system-wide perspective that enables better planning, improves efficiency and allows for innovative health system delivery methods that will move health system transformation forward

The Government of Yukon, in collaboration with Yukon First Nations and health partners, will begin the work to establish the health authority right away. This work will span several years and include continued collaboration with partners, stakeholders, health professionals, communities, unions and employees over the several years to develop an equitable health system where the voices and needs of individuals, families, communities and health service providers are acknowledged and respected.

Today marks a pivotal moment in transforming the Yukon's health and social system as we cement the foundation for a modern, responsive health authority that truly reflects the values and interests of Yukoners. We are steadfast in our commitment to implementing the recommendations of the Putting People First report to build a system that is people centered, accessible to everyone, equitable in every respect and culturally safe. Shäw Kwä’ą/Health and Wellness Yukon/Santé et mieux-être Yukon will be a key driver of the Yukon's health and social system transformation, improving the vitality of the territory and ensuring health services are focused on client care and health outcomes. 

Minister of Health and Social Services Tracy-Anne McPhee

The passing of this legislation is an exciting moment for all Yukoners. There is still a significant amount of work ahead, but this legislation is an important step in creating Shäw Kwä’ą and enacting the vision that was laid out in Putting People First for a better, person-centred and culturally safe health care system.  This ground-breaking and collaboratively built legislation enables significant positive changes to health service delivery in the territory and ensures an ongoing role for Yukon First Nations in the governance of Yukon’s health system.

Chair of the Chiefs Committee on Health and Chief of Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation Pauline Frost  

Quick facts 
  • Developing a health authority for the Yukon is a key recommendation from the Putting People First report, informed by engagement with Yukoners.

  • Shäw Kwä’ą is the Yukon First Nations name for health authority which means “it is all well/it is all good” and embodies health and wellness in Southern Tutchone. 

  • The Health Authority Act was created in collaboration with the Yukon First Nations governments, senior officials, health system partners and providers. The Chiefs Committee on Health provided oversight and the 2020 Putting People First report's two phases of public engagement provided further guidance in developing the Act's framework. 

  • The Health Authority Act is the legislative tool used to establish a health authority in the Yukon. It defines the roles and responsibilities, identifies the scope of programs and services and establishes principles for how the health authority conducts its operations and interacts within the health and social services sector.

  • The Yukon is one of two Canadian jurisdictions currently operating without a health authority. 

  • Subject to legislative approval, Budget 2024–25 provides $9.4 million to continue the work to transform the health and social system and establish the health authority.

Media contact 

Laura Seeley
Cabinet Communications
867-332-7627
[email protected]  

Zachary Burke
Communications, Health and Social Services
867-332-5907
[email protected] 

News release #: 
24-212