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(By CBC News · Yellowknife, NT – July 14, 2022 – Used with Permission) – Some surgeries in the N.W.T. will be postponed as one of the two operating rooms at Stanton Territorial Hospital in Yellowknife prepares to close.

On Thursday afternoon, the N.W.T. Health and Social Services Authority announced the room will be closing to regular use as of July 25, cutting the capacity of operations at the hospital in half. It is expected to reopen on Sept. 30.

There aren’t enough nurses to staff the room, the health authority said, though it will be available in case of emergencies.

The announcement comes on the heels of Wednesday’s news that the hospital’s operating rooms will be reduced to emergency services only next week and several health centres elsewhere in the territory would be reducing their services.

Thursday’s announcement means “a small number of individuals” will have their surgeries delayed. People who need a surgery but haven’t yet been scheduled can expect to have to wait longer than usual.

The health authority said the closure of the operating room “will allow for continued safe delivery of care while reserving capacity for urgent and emergent cases.”

Earlier Thursday, the heads of the N.W.T.’s health authorities released a joint statement saying they are “deeply concerned” about the “critical situation” with health care staffing.

Jim Antoine, Ted Blondin and Brian Willows wrote that solving the issue is their top priority.

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