Extra medical flights to and from Nunatsiavut to continue

An aerial view of Nunatsiavut. (Eilis Quinn/Eye on the Arctic)

The government in Nunatsiavut, the Inuit region in Atlantic Canada, is extending its financial assistance for medical flights to and from the region.

The money will go to the Labrador-Grenfell Regional Health Authority (LGH) which serves the communities of Labrador and the northern tip of Newfoundland. 

“By extending this agreement, LGH will be able to continue providing two extra medical flights per week,” Nunatsiavut President Johannes Lampe said in a news release on Friday.

“This will result in less time for people having to be away from their families and communities, and reduce costs for accommodations.”

Limited health facilities in communities

Nunatsiavut’s population of 2560 is spread out between five communities along the Atlantic coast: Nain, Hopedale, Makkovik, Postville and Rigolet.

The villages have no road access and although limited health services are available in the region, residents must often travel to elsewhere in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador to get treated or see specialists.  

The community health clinic in the Nunatsiavut community of Rigolet. Residents often have to travel out of their communities to access specialized health services. (Eilís Quinn/Eye on the Arctic)

The extra flights will continue to be on Tuesdays and Thursdays. 

“The Nunatsiavut Government is pleased to partner with LGH to make these extra flights possible to lessen the burdens often placed on those who have to travel to Happy Valley-Goose Bay for medical purposes,” Lampe said. 

The money will come from the Nunatsiavut Government’s COVID-19 Indigenous Community Support Fund allocations, the news release said. 

The extra flights are slated to continue up to March 31, 2023. 

Write to Eilís Quinn at eilis.quinn@cbc.ca

Related stories from around the North: 

Canada: Yukon government offers cash bonuses to attract and keep nurses, CBC News

Greenland: Greenland to reduce services amidst staffing shortages in health care system, Eye on the Arctic

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