The Government of Yukon has released the first Putting People First annual report, providing an update on the work being done to implement the report’s 76 recommendations.
In April 2020, Putting People First was released following a comprehensive review of the Yukon’s health and social services and programs. In August, 2020, the Government of Yukon endorsed the report’s recommendations, which provide a roadmap to transform the territory's health and social services system to better meet the needs of all Yukoners and create a system that is more integrated, collaborative, person-centred and culturally safe.
Of the 76 recommendations, 14 are operational, 39 are in progress and 23 have yet to be started. Some of the recommendations that are operational are:
- doubling the medical travel benefit for Yukoners as part of enhancements to the medical travel program;
- reducing pharmacy markups and fees to a level close to the national average;
- hiring additional nurse practitioners to increase access to primary health care providers in Yukon communities;
- establishing a by-name list to improve access to housing coordination;
- creating a new Care Coordination and Medical Travel Unit to streamline care across programs and providers;
- enhanced programs and services at long-term care homes to better support First Nations residents and their families;
- the creation of an evidence and evaluation unit with a clear population health mandate to support the health and social system, including program area staff and care providers, with data gathering, analysis, surveillance and evaluation; and
- the implementation of a fully-funded universal early childhood education.
A key recommendation of Putting People First is the creation of a health authority. The establishment of a health authority is a foundational step toward implementing the changes Yukoners have asked for and preliminary work on this has begun. The proposed name for the health authority is Health and Wellness Yukon, Santé et mieux-être Yukon or Shä̀w Kwä̀ ’a.
As we continue implementing the recommendations from Putting People First, we are working hard to implement the transformation of our health and social services system to better meet the needs of all Yukoners. Establishing Health and Wellness Yukon is the next big step in delivering on the transformational change Yukoners have asked of us and we look forward to sharing more information as this important work continues.
Minister of Health and Social Services Tracy-Anne McPhee
The Independent Expert Panel was created in November 2018 to lead the comprehensive review of the Yukon’s health and social programs and services. It included Yukoners and health systems experts from out of the territory.