Care provider says Yukon gov't taking too long to pay her

·2 min read

A woman who provides services for Yukon's health department says the territorial government is often taking too long to pay her.

"I'm often contacting my landlady saying, 'Oh, sorry, I have to wait, you know, an extra, well, until I get this money to pay my last couple hundred dollars,' or, you know, I'm putting off bills," Trina MacLeod said on Tuesday.

She said she has provided services, including home care, respite care, and applied behaviour analysis therapy, in Whitehorse for the Yukon government for about five years.

MacLeod said she fills out an invoice and then emails it to the families who access her services. Someone from the family signs it, then sends it to the government.

"My understanding is that these invoices are supposed to be paid out within 30 days" after the government receives them, she said.

However, the government is not always paying her within that time frame, something that has been a problem since before the COVID-19 pandemic, she said.

'It's frustrating'

MacLeod said a spreadsheet she maintains shows several delays in 2020.

The quickest turnaround was 12 days, while other payments took 37 days to arrive, she added.

Submitted by Trina MacLeod
Submitted by Trina MacLeod

"It's frustrating that they say there's 30 days [to pay up] but there's no repercussions if it goes over that," MacLeod said with a sigh.

She said she has spoken to employees of the Department of Health and Social Services (HSS) multiple times about the issue, and she was told that she should have clients pay her directly, placing the onus on clients to get reimbursed by the government.

"That's putting undue financial hardship on families that already have special-needs children," she said. "I obviously won't do that."

The health department did not make anyone available for an interview.

In an email to CBC on Wednesday, spokesperson Pat Living said the department "will not speak to individual concerns."

"HSS, as in other government departments has a standard of paying invoices within 30 days. This is not a systemic problem but no system is perfect and sometimes, things do happen that prevent payments from flowing within that 30 days," Living wrote.

"HSS is introducing a controllership role to improve the process of payment to all contractors."