7-year-old lady from Sambaa K’e, N.W.T., waits 3 weeks for X-ray after getting injured

When Etoah Lamalice fell off a snowmobile, she needed to wait three weeks till she obtained an X-ray to be taught her arm was damaged.

“She was really in pain; her little arm was starting to get blue,” mentioned Etoah’s mom, Valerie. 

She thought at first her daughter’s damage was only a sprain, however “every time we got near it or tried to touch it, she was really in pain.”

Etoah, 7, is from Sambaa K’e, N.W.T.

The nearest X-ray machine is Fort Simpson, however Valerie mentioned that due to staffing shortages there, they have been despatched to Stanton Hospital in Yellowknife as an alternative. 

Valerie mentioned that when she first took her daughter to the Sambaa K’e health centre, the nurse instructed them they could not fly into Fort Simpson due to dangerous climate. 

When she adopted up just a few days later, she was instructed it will be one other week till Etoah may get an X-ray. When Valerie adopted a 3rd time the following week, the nurse instructed her it will be one other week nonetheless, and that as a consequence of a scarcity of workers, they’d have to fly to Yellowknife as an alternative. 

“So I don’t know where that miscommunication came from,” Valerie mentioned, including they have been fortunate the damage was a clear break and that medical doctors did not have to re-break her daughter’s arm to set the bone correctly.  

‘I’m actually questioning the health system up right here’

When Etoah and Valerie arrived in Yellowknife to substantiate the break, workers instructed her they did not know why the health centre in Fort Simpson could not full the X-ray.

“I’m really questioning the health system up here,” she mentioned. “They’re not really taking our emergencies seriously.”  

“In an isolated community, it’s kind of scary when you’re in a situation like this.”  

Valerie mentioned that Etoah is “a tough cookie,” and that she continues to be “all over the place like she doesn’t even have a cast on.”

They’re actually not taking our emergencies severely.– Valerie Lamalice, mom of 7-year-old Etoah, in Sambaa K’e, N.W.T.

Valerie has lived in Sambaa K’e for 46 years. 

She mentioned that while the medical journey system has all the time had its flaws, she “noticed just recently” that advocating for medical care has been more difficult than ever. 

The mom and daughter are scheduled to return to Yellowknife in one other three weeks to take away Etoah’s solid. 

The physician instructed Valerie that somebody would name her to substantiate the appointment and medical journey preparations however supplied telephone numbers and instructed Valerie to name herself if she would not hear something by the week earlier than the appointment.

“I just want to see it get better for people in isolated communities,” she mentioned. “I’m really confused about that miscommunication … how do we do this better?”

Situation ‘may simply shift’

Kim Riles, the chief govt officer of the N.W.T. Health and Social Services Authority, instructed reporters at a information convention Wednesday, that health-care staffing shortages exist throughout the territory. 

On top of the shortages inflicting the closure of Stanton Hospital’s obstetrics unit, six group health centres within the Northwest Territories are working at decreased companies, and 4 on emergency companies.    

Riles mentioned regardless of the division’s recruitment efforts, 22 per cent of the nursing positions at Stanton stay vacant.

While she mentioned there isn’t a speedy menace of other hospital models closing, she mentioned the scenario is fragile and will “easily shift with just a couple of staff departures or a couple of [locum] contract cancellations.”

Kim Riles, Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority chief working officer, stands at a pneumatic tube station in 2019. Riles mentioned there isn’t a speedy menace of other hospital models closing however that the scenario is fragile and will simply shift. (Walter Strong/CBC)


A doc shared with CBC News reveals a callout to nurses for December shifts within the emergency division. The doc, which CBC News was instructed was despatched on Nov. 19, reveals 172 unfilled shifts for the month of December. 

David Maguire, spokesperson for the health authority, mentioned the doc is outdated “and not reflective of the current state of staffing.”

He mentioned it additionally does not account for time beyond regulation shift pickup, locum, informal or aid workers.

Health Minister Julie Green mentioned that 46 vacant nursing shifts led to the momentary obstetrics closure. 

The health authority didn’t reply to questions of why Etoah’s X-ray journey took three weeks.

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