Putting People First

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

Putting People First report

The Government of Yukon launched a comprehensive review of our health and social programs and services in 2019. We learned that while there are strengths in the current system, there’s room for improvement.

The Putting People First report provides recommendations to improve the health and social system for Yukoners. These recommendations will guide our work to transform the current system.

We heard from health and social professionals, community organizations, and First Nations governments. We also heard from Yukon government staff, non-governmental organizations and the public.

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

Based on what we heard, an independent expert panel made 76 recommendations to transform the health and social services system. These recommendations focus on: 

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

Learn more about the status of the recommendations in the Putting People First 2022 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.

We've already completed some actions and we're working on others. But there are actions that to complete we first need to do foundational work. As of September 2022:

  • 14 recommendations are operational;
  • 39 recommendations are in progress; and
  • 23 recommendations have not been started.

Our vision for the future

The report recommends 4 goals known as the quadruple aim in health care management. These goals will help us to create a high-preforming system where: 

  • people experience a system that’s person- and family-centred, culturally safe, anti-racist, accessible and integrated;
  • workers experience a workplace that’s supported, appropriately staffed and values a work-life balance;
  • the system improves community wellness; and
  • the system is efficient and effective, and makes the best use of resources. 

Based on these recommendations we're working to build a system: 

  • that addresses systemic racism and discrimination;
  • where every Yukoner is linked to a regular care team and can access quality services when needed;
  • where services are connected to one another and culturally safe;
  • where we provide care closer to your home or community;
  • that’s focused on prevention and the social determinants of health; and
  • that involves communities and people with lived experience.

Health and Wellness Yukon

To create this high-performing system, the panel recommended that we create a health authority. To represent the link between health and overall wellness, we’re calling the health authority:

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

What is a health authority?

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

Why does Yukon need a health authority?

Our 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

Our health authority will take a whole-system view. This means we can:

  • plan better;
  • be more efficient; and
  • be more innovative in how we deliver health care. 
Clearer division of roles and responsibilities

In our health authority, the board of directors and the chief executive officer are accountable for service delivery. The Yukon government will be accountable for:

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

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 will transition to Health and Wellness Yukon.

Supporting reports and documents

How other jurisdictions have transformed their systems:

We're in the early stages of working on Health and Wellness Yukon. If you have any questions or comments, contact the Health Systems Transformation Team.
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