Yukon North Of Ordinary

News archive for August 8, 2011

New obstetrics clinic called ‘good news for Yukon women’

A new obstetrics clinic will open in Whitehorse at the end of September, the Yukon government announced late last week.

By Ashley Joannou on August 8, 2011 at 3:11 pm


Photo by Whitehorse Star

Dr. Rao Tadepalli

A new obstetrics clinic will open in Whitehorse at the end of September, the Yukon government announced late last week.

The Yukon Women’s Clinic will be open five days a week using a “collaborative model” of five to six physicians on a rotating schedule, Dr. Rao Tadepalli, the president of the Yukon Medical Association, said Friday.

The new clinic will help the territory keep up with the rising number of births each year.

“We currently have about 360 births a year in the Yukon, that’s projected to be 1,000 in 10 years,” Tadepalli said in an interview.

The new clinic will operate out of the newly reopened Thomson Centre, in the space currently used by the Red Cross and next to the specialist obstetrician clinic.

The Yukon government is currently helping the Red Cross find new space, Tadepalli said.

Tadepalli said the number of doctors practising obstetrics is declining across the country, in part because of the commitment required to be available to deliver babies 24 hours a day.

At the new clinic, physicians will take turns being on call overnight and on the weekends, which leads to better-rested doctors and superior patient care, Tadepalli said.

The clinic will also improve access to prenatal care for women without family doctors or for women whose family doctors do not specialize in obstetrics, Tadepalli said.

“We are very excited by this step forward and believe it will better serve Yukon women and their babies,” he said. “As well, this model will co-exist with family physicians doing clinic-based obstetric care.”

Expectant mothers will be able to register themselves or be referred by their family physician for the duration of the pregnancy.

The clinic will offer prenatal care as well as up to six weeks of care for mothers after the baby is born.

The government will cover the cost of the clinic, as well as payment for physicians through regular fee for services.

The new clinic’s opening means the current Aurora Clinic will be shutting its doors at the end of September.

Current Aurora patients are being referred to the new location, Tadepalli said.

The project’s lead physician, Dr. Debrah Lisoway, has high hopes for the future of the new practice.

Eventually, she would like to see services expand to include things such as a dietitian, or group sessions which would match mothers at similar stages in their pregnancy to learn more about prenatal care.

Once it opens its doors, the new clinic will operate five days a week.

The exact times have not been decided yet, Lisoway said.

“We have been working collaboratively with both the physicians and the hospital to create this new option for Yukon women who are giving birth,” Health and Social Services Minister Glenn Hart said in a statement.

“This new model means women will have improved access to prenatal care, especially for women without family doctors or for women whose family doctors do not specialize in obstetrics. This is very good news for Yukon women.”

Renovations to the Thomson Centre are slated to begin in early September.

The 19-year-old centre was originally built as an extended care centre. The original shoddy workmanship and the necessary millions of dollars’ worth of repairs to its walls and ceilings have seen it closed for years at a time.

CommentsAdd a comment

Karen Jansen

Aug 8, 2011 at 8:13 pm

I wonder how this clinic will use Midwives and Nurse Practitioners - both of whom are seeking regulations from Yukon Government - seems like a great time to really use a “collaborative model”.  I look forward to having those announcements made soon!

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