Philpott wants to see health care ‘by Inuit, for Inuit’ – National Observer

March 5th 2018

Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott is hoping to deliver more health care closer to northern Indigenous communities, in order to address a crisis leaving Inuit women vulnerable in southern cities like Montreal.

Speaking to National Observer in an interview, Philpott said a combination of better addictions treatment, remote medical technology, funding for travel companions, training for midwifery and cultural sensitivity and a shift to Indigenous delivery models can help to address some of the tragic health outcomes.

“I think it needs to be addressed from multiple angles,” she said March 1, moving from “the current approach, where people often do have to leave from communities to get care far away from their homes — (to) the longer term approach of how we can actually improve the opportunities for people to get high-quality health care services much closer to their communities.”

Each year, thousands of residents of the Canadian Arctic fly thousands of kilometres to obtain health care services. National Observer has documented how the punishing cultural and physical disorientation that comes with these commutes can leave travelers alienated, vulnerable to addiction or rape, or dead.

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