Statement made on 09 June 2010 by Senator Charlie Watt
Hon. Charlie Watt:
Honourable senators, the Inuit have received international recognition for their excellent midwifery training and skills. In my province of Quebec, for example, they have achieved full professional status.
In view of this, why are we still airlifting healthy Inuit women to cities such as Montreal and Winnipeg to have their babies? It is unnecessary and traumatic for the mother because it removes her from family and cultural supports, and she is forced to receive health care in a second or even third language.
Midwives are a cost-effective, safe and culturally accepted option. What is the government doing to support the training and hiring of midwives in the North, and how can we find a way for Inuit midwives to work across the Inuit territories?
I would like the federal government to take this issue seriously and develop a proper national policy. As well, I would like to see that the Inuit have the opportunity and mobility to move from one Inuit territory to the next to administer midwifery, and not be restricted by the territories or provinces. Is the federal government prepared to do this?
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