An open letter to the people of the Baffin region:


From the medical and surgical specialists of the Mcgill-Baffin program:

For 31 years, McGill University medical specialists have been providers of highly experienced care for the people of the Baffin region. Specialists have visited Iqaluit and settlements on a regular basis seeing and treating patients and when necessary transferring them to Montreal hospitals.

Those patients have ranged from very sick infants requiring neonatal intensive care, to older patients with complicated medical and surgical problems. The quality of care provided to the people of the Baffin region has been the best available.

On September 1, 1997 we received a letter sent on behalf of the Baffin Regional Health and Social Services Board advising us that our specialist physician contract would not be renewed and would terminate on September 30, 1997.

We were also informed that your Board had decided to enter into a contract with the Ottawa Heart Institute to develop specialist services for you. Needless to say we were all very disturbed and upset by this sudden unilateral move.

We are and remain very concerned over your welfare during this period of transition since continuity of your medical care is essential.

We would like to assure our Baffin patients that we will still be available to provide any care you might need after September 30, 1997, and will always maintain professional contact when requested.

Dr. Vincent Arlet, Pediatric Orthopedics
Dr. Andrew Hreno, Surgery
Dr. James D. Baxter, Otolaryngology
Dr. John Little, Ophthalmology
Dr. Thierry E. Benaroch, Pediatric Orthopedics
Dr. John Oliver, Urology
Dr. Samuel Benaroya, Internal Medicine
Dr. Gary Pekeles, Pediatrics
Dr. Kenneth Bentley, Dentistry
Dr. Gordon Roberts, Dentistry
Dr. Leora Berkson, Rheumatology
Dr. Barry Silver, Opthalmology
Dr. John Burgess, Cardiology
Dr. Wayne Carey, Dermatology
Dr. Michael Churchill-Smith, Emergency Transport
Dr. Larry Coughlin, Orthopedics
Dr. Jean de Saint-Victor, Gynecology& Obstetrics
Dr. Michael Flounders, Ophthalmology
Dr. Daniel Gendron, Neurology
Dr. Michael Paul Gosselin, Ophthalmology
Dr. John Hinchey, Surgery
Dr. Marc Paquet, Pediatric Cardiology
Dr. Melvin D. Scholoss, Otolaryngology
Dr. Gordon V. Waters, Pediatric Neurology
Dr. Richard Menzies, Respirology
We don’t want transfer to Ottawa

To whom it may concern:

We, the patients and escorts in Baffin House, strongly object to the proposed transfer of medical specialist services from Montreal to Ottawa.

We believe it is in the best interests of the patients’ health and welfare that they continue to be treated in Montreal. The people who started the process of the transfer to Ottawa have not studied the case and are not thinking of patients’ well-being.

We don’t think those who are proposing the transfer even know how well patients and escorts are currently taken care of here at Baffin House, and by doctors in Montreal.

We feel we have the best doctors here in Montreal. They have been caring for Inuit for a long time. If the transfer goes ahead, you don’t know how devastating this will be for Inuit and the doctors who care for them.

Please let the people of Nunavut have a full say before you go ahead with your final decision.

Thank you. Rhoda Qanatsiaq, Igloolik
Tiraq Ottokie, Cape Dorset
Nala Michael, Kimmirut
Annie Michael, Kimmirut
Joachim Alaralak, Igloolik
Moshie Gendron, Iqaluit
Johnny Piallaq, Hall Beach
Annie Natsiapik, Iqaluit
Reepa Qiyuapik, Iqaluit
Elisapee Kasarnak, Iqaluit
Elisapee Doucet, Iqaluit
Ooloosie Tikivik, Kimmirut

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