Slipping through the cracks

I’m not used to commenting on news articles. That’s typically Townie‘s or Megan‘s blog-fare.

But this one caught my attention, thanks to Chris‘s twitter feed.

Synopsis: woman falls down steps at Iqaluit hotel and hits head. Goes to hospital where she is sent to the drunk tank for having caused a disturbance at the hospital. The next day she’s medivaced out to Ottawa from her head injuries, dies a few days later.

Now admittedly, I don’t know the circumstances around what happened, but I’m sickened by what I’ve read. A woman reported to the hospital in town, she was sent away, and died days later. It’s scary, and not the first time I’ve heard of something like this happening.

In fact, there’s a guy in town who I knew (by sight) who was told by doctors from the Inuit Health Survey to seek immediate medical attention because he was gravely ill. He was turned away from the health centre in Rankin. He got sicker, returned to the health centre and was promptly sent down south for treatment. He had cancer, and it was ignored and/or missed by the local staff.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have a couple good friends who work for the Health centre in Rankin. They are good people, and well-trained professionals. And yes, this kind of thing isn’t isolated to the north… but it’s a more dangerous situation when it does. Emergency measures aren’t just a short ambulance trip away. Distance to a full-scale hospital is calculated in hours, not minutes.

There’s something wrong here. And I really hope a full-scale inquiry is done into this incident. Because answers – and solutions – are seriously needed.

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One Response to “Slipping through the cracks”

  1. Megan Says:

    I’m guessing that a public inquiry will be held, even if it’s not required under Nunavut legislation. Does anyone know if she was formally “in custody” when she died?

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