Putting People First

The road map to creating a health and social system that serves the needs of Yukoners better.

Putting People First report

In 2019, the Government of Yukon started a review of our health and social programs and services. We learned that while the current system is strong, it can get better. This review led to the development of the Putting People First report.

Many Yukoners contributed to this report, including:

  • Health care professionals;
  • Social services professionals;
  • community organizations;
  • Yukon government staff;
  • non-governmental organizations; and
  • First Nations governments.

Based on their input, we made 76 recommendations. These recommendations will guide our work to transform the current system. They focus on:

  • collaborating with Yukon First Nations on health outcomes, cultural safety and traditional healing;
  • partnering with communities and people with lived experiences to get their input;
  • bridging the gap between government and other organizations and sectors;
  • improving systems to create more holistic and integrated care; and
  • continuous evaluation of data and community input to improve services. 

Read more about these engagements in the What We Heard: Phase I and What We Heard: Phase II reports.


 Download Putting People First 2023 annual report

Where we are now

The panel’s recommendations aim to better meet the needs of Yukoners. Our new health and social services system will be:

  • integrated;
  • collaborative; and
  • person-centred.

Our vision for the future

We aim to build a system that is inclusive, cooperative, and promotes equality. A system:

  • that is person- and family-centred, culturally safe, anti-racist, accessible and integrated;
  • where workers enjoy a workplace that is supportive, well-staffed and values work-life balance;
  • that involves communities and people with lived experiences;
  • that improves community wellness; and
  • is efficient and effective and makes the best use of resources.

Putting People First recommendations

As of December 2023:

  • 68 recommendations are operational or in progress; and
  • 8 recommendations have not yet started.

Learn more about the status of the recommendations in the Putting People First 2023 annual report.

Health and Wellness Yukon

To show the link between health and total wellbeing, we're naming the health authority:

  • “Shä̀w Kwä̀ ’a” in Southern Tutchone;
  • “Health and Wellness Yukon” in English; and
  • “Santé et mieux-être Yukon” in French.

What is a health authority?

A health authority is an arms-length agency. It delivers day-to-day health services and some social services.

Why does Yukon need a health authority?

The health authority will:

  • break down the silos Yukoners face in our current system;
  • put Yukoners' needs at the core; and
  • serve Yukoners better.

Some of the benefits of a health authority

A better connection to the community

Health and Wellness Yukon will engage often with the public, especially people with lived experience. 

Focus on efficiency and outcomes

The health authority will adopt a comprehensive system-wide perspective, enabling us to:

  • plan better,
  • be more efficient, and
  • innovate in our health care delivery methods.
Clearer division of roles and responsibilities

The health authority will have a board of directors. They will also have a chief executive officer (CEO). Both the board and the CEO will be accountable for service delivery. The Government of Yukon will be accountable for:

  • long-term strategy;
  • resource allocation; and
  • oversight.

Questions about Health and Wellness Yukon

When will Health and Wellness Yukon be up and running?

Creating Health and Wellness Yukon is complex work. It will not happen overnight, but work is underway. We’re working on legislation to create Health and Wellness Yukon. We expect to take a phased approach to the transition. This will happen over the next 3 to 5 years.

What services will be under Health and Wellness Yukon?

We have not made decisions about which programs and services will move over to Health and Wellness Yukon. We expect it may run:

  • hospitals;
  • community health centres;
  • primary care;
  • long-term care;
  • Mental Wellness and Substance Use Services branch;
  • home care;
  • services for children and adults with disabilities;
  • Emergency Medical Services branch; 
  • medical evacuation and travel; and
  • corporate functions.

We expect the Department of Health and Social Services will continue to manage:

  • Social Services such as social supports and Family and the Children's Services unit;
  • Population and Public Health, Evidence, and Evaluation unit; 
  • Insured Health Services;
  • Vital Statistics;
  • a system-wide evaluation of health services and stewardship; and
  • corporate functions. 

The division of services is not set in stone. We’ll have discussions with staff and stakeholders. They’ll help us decide:

  • which programs and services will remain with the department; and
  • which programs and services will transition to Health and Wellness Yukon.

Supporting reports and documents

How other jurisdictions have transformed their systems:

If you have any questions or comments, contact the Health Systems Transformation Team.
Contact us today

Give us your feedback