Medevac and Beyond: The Impact of Medical Travel on Nunavut Residents / ᑐᐊᕕᕐᓇᑐᒃᑰᕐᓂᖅ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᐅᖓᑎᒃᑲᓐᓂᐊᓄᑦ: ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥᐅᑦ ᐋᓐᓂᐊᕕᓕᐊᖅᐸᑦᑐᑦ ᐊᑦᑐᖅᑕᐅᓂᕆᕙᑦᑕᖏᑦ
This qualitative study identifies key factors that contribute to negative psychosocial outcomes for Inuit patients using the Iqaluit, Nunavut, medevac (used for emergency transfers) and medical transfer (for non-emergency cases) programs. The study also reports on the existence and appropriateness of social and cultural supports in hospitals and communities for medically transferred patients and their families. I analyzed results from a literature review, document analysis, and 20 in-depth, semi-structured interviews with health care professionals and policy and decision makers in Iqaluit and Ottawa, Ontario. Respondents were either directly involved in medevac and medical transfer programs or were health professionals who work with those using the services. In addition, variables impacting patient speed of recovery and overall mental health were considered, including isolation, social support, and emotional stress. Findings revealed that Inuit patients do experience a lack of social supports such as escorts and translators on medical trips south. They also often encounter a lack of cultural sensitivity once in the south, and suffer from homesickness and isolation. This study demonstrates that the current medical transfer system in Nunavut does not fully meet the psychosocial needs of Inuit patients and their families, which has direct effects on patients’ mental health and on medical outcomes of treatment in the south.
ᐅᓇ ᖃᐅᔨᓴᕐᓂᐅᓯᒪᔪᖅ ᐃᓕᓴᖅᓯᕗᖅ ᐱᓗᖅᑯᑕᐅᔪᓂᒃ ᑐᓂᕐᕈᑎᖃᖅᑐᓂᒃ ᐃᓅᓯᕐᒧᑦ ᐃᓱᒪᒃᑯᓪᓗ ᐃᓄᓐᓄᑦ ᐋᓐᓂᐊᕕᓕᐊᖅᐸᑦᑐᓄᑦ ᐊᑲᐃᓪᓕᐅᕈᑎᓂᒃ ᐊᖅᑯᑎᒋᓪᓗᒋᑦ ᐃᖃᓗᐃᑦ, ᓄᓇᕗᑦ ᑐᐊᕕᕐᓇᑐᒃᑯ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᐃᖏᕐᕋᓂᒃᑯᑦ (ᑐᐊᕕᕐᓇᖏᑦᑐᑯᓪᓗ ᐊᖅᑯᑕᐅᕙᑦᑐᒃᑯᑦ). ᖃᐅᔨᓴᐅᑎ ᐅᓂᒃᑲᐅᓯᖃᕆᕗᖅ ᐅᓪᓗᒥ ᐋᓐᓂᐊᕕᓐᓂ ᓄᓇᓕᓐᓂᓗ ᐊᑐᐃᓐᓇᐅᒪᔪᓂᒃ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᐊᑲᕐᕆᔾᔪᑕᐅᔪᓂᒃ ᐃᓅᖃᑎᒌᓐᓂᒃᑯᑦ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᐃᓕᖅᑯᓯᒃᑯᑦ ᐋᓐᓂᐊᕕᓕᐊᖅᓯᒪᔪᓄᑦ ᐃᓚᖏᓐᓄᓪᓗ ᐃᑲᔪᖅᑐᐃᔾᔪᑕᐅᔪᓂᒃ. ᕿᒥᕐᕈᓚᐅᕆᕗᖓ ᖃᐅᔨᓴᐅᑎᒥᓂᕐᓂᒃ ᐅᖃᓕᒫᒐᓕᐊᖑᓯᒪᔪᓂᒃ, ᐅᓂᒃᑳᓪᓗ ᕿᒥᕐᕈᔭᐅᓯᒪᔪᑦ ᐊᕙᑎᑦ ᓈᔭᖅᑕᐅᓯᒪᑦᑎᐊᖅᑐᑎᒃ, ᐊᐱᖅᑯᑎᓪᓗ ᐃᓚᖓᒍᑦ ᑎᑎᕋᖅᑕᐅᓯᒪᓪᓗᑎᒃ ᐋᓐᓂᐊᖅᑐᓕᕆᔨᒃᑯᑦ ᐃᖅᑲᓇᐃᔭᖅᑎᖏᓐᓄᑦ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᐊᑐᐊᒐᓕᐅᖅᑎᓄᑦ ᐃᓱᒪᓕᐅᖅᑎᓄᓪᓗ ᐃᖃᓗᓐᓂ ᐋᑐᕚᒥᓗ, ᐋᓐᑎᐅᕆᐅᒥ. ᐊᐱᖅᓱᖅᑕᐅᓯᒪᔪᑦ ᑐᐊᕕᕐᓇᖅᑐᒃᑰᕐᓂᑰᔪᑦ ᐊᐅᓪᓚᖅᑐᓕᕆᔨᒃᑯᓐᓂ ᐅᕝᕙᓗᑭᐊᖅ ᐋᓐᓂᐊᖅᑐᓕᕆᓂᕐᒥ ᐃᖅᑲᓇᐃᔮᖃᐅᖅᑐᑎᒃ. ᑕᐃᒪᓗ, ᐋᓐᓂᐊᕕᓕᐊᖅᓯᒪᔪᓄᑦ ᐱᔾᔪᑕᐅᔪᑦ ᐃᑉᐱᓐᓂᕈᑕᐅᓯᒪᔪᑦ ᐊᑲᐅᓯᕙᓪᓕᐊᓂᖏᓐᓂᒃ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᐃᓱᒪᔾᔪᓯᖏᓐᓂᒃ, ᐃᓚᓕᐅᑦᑐᒋᑦ ᐅᖓᓯᑦᑐᒥᐅᑕᐅᓂᖏᑦ, ᐃᓄᓕᕆᓂᒃᑯᑦ ᐃᑲᔫᑕᐅᔪᑦ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᐃᓱᒫᓗᓐᓇᖅᑐᑎᒍᑦ. ᖃᐅᔨᔾᔪᑕᐅᔪᑦ ᑐᑭᓯᓇᖅᓯᓚᐅᖅᑯᑦ ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᐋᓐᓂᐊᕕᓕᐊᖅᐸᑦᑐᑦ ᐃᓄᓕᕆᓂᒃᑯᑦ ᐃᑲᔪᖅᓱᖅᑕᐅᓂᑭᑉᐸᓐᓂᖏᓐᓂᒃ ᓲᕐᓗ ᐃᑲᔪᖅᑎᒡᒋᐊᖃᕋᑎᒃ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᑐᓵᔨᑭᔅᓴᐸᑦᑐᑎᒃ ᖃᓪᓗᓈᓕᐊᕋᐃᒐᒥᒃ. ᐊᒥᒐᖅᓯᔾᔪᑕᐅᕙᑦᑐᑦ ᑐᑭᓯᔾᔪᑕᐅᔪᒋᕗᖅ ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᐱᖅᑯᓯᖏᓐᓂᒃ ᖃᐅᔨᒪᓂᑭᓐᓂᖏᓐᓄᑦ ᐋᓐᓂᐊᖅᑐᓕᕆᔨᒃᑯᑦ, ᐊᖏᕐᕋᓯᖅᐸᑦᑐᓪᓗ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᐃᓄᑑᓕᐅᑎᕙᓐᓂᖏᓐᓂᒃ. ᐅᓇ ᖃᐅᔨᓴᐅᑎ ᑕᑯᖅᑯᔾᔨᓚᐅᖅᑯᖅ ᒫᓐᓇᒃᑯᑦ ᐋᓐᓂᐊᕕᓕᐊᕐᓂᕆᕙᑦᑕᖏᑦ ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥᐅᑕᐃᑦ ᐃᓚᖏᑕᓗ ᐊᑲᕐᕆᔮᓐᖏᒋᐊᖏᑕ ᐋᓐᓂᐊᕕᓕᐊᖅᐸᑦᑐᑦ ᐃᓱᒪᖏᑎᒍᑦ ᐃᓄᓕᕆᓂᒃᑯᑎᒍᓪᓗ. ᑕᒪᒃᑯᐊ ᐋᓐᓂᐊᕕᓕᐊᖅᐸᑦᑐᑦ ᐃᓱᒪᔾᔪᓯᖏᑦ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᐋᓐᓂᐊᖏᑕ ᖃᓄᐃᓐᓂᖏᓐᓂᒃ ᐊᑦᑐᐃᕙᑦᑐᑦ ᖃᓪᓗᓈᓃᑎᓪᓗᒋᒃ.