Health Care and Medical Insurance
Almost every Nunavut community has a health facility. Iqaluit has a hospital,
while other communities have a health centre. Health centres
are staffed by nurses equipped to treat minor emergencies and
Nurses are on duty at health centres during regular business hours weekdays and
on call for emergencies 24 hours a day. Patients requiring more
serious medical attention are flown to a regional centre or
to a larger community outside Nunavut.
The Baffin Regional Hospital in Iqaluit is open 24 hours a day.
It handles most local health care needs and also serves patients
brought in from smaller Baffin communities. For more specialized
treatment, patients are flown to Ottawa. Iqaluit also has a
dental clinic and an optical outlet. The dental clinic is equipped
to handle most dental emergencies. The optical outlet can make
minor repairs to glasses and dispense new ones. This may take
two weeks or more.
Rankin Inlet has a health centre and a birthing centre. In serious medical emergencies,
patients are normally flown to a hospital facility in Churchill,
Manitoba or directly to a hospital in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Rankin
Inlet also has a dental clinic..
Cambridge Bay has a Health Centre. Serious cases are flown to the Stanton Regional
Hospital in Yellowknife. Cambridge Bay also has a dental office.
Communities Outside the Regional Centres
There are medical staff in the small Baffin communities. Serious
cases patients are flown to the hospital in Iqaluit. In the
Kivalliq Region, patients are flown either to Churchill or Winnipeg.
Kitikmeot patients are flown directly to Yellowknife. Doctors
and dentists visit the smaller communities periodically. A few
communities, such as Kugluktuk, Baker Lake and Gjoa Haven, have
their own dental clinics.
Visitors, students, transient and temporary workers from elsewhere
in Canada are not eligible to enroll in the NWT Health Care
Plan. Your provincial or Yukon health plan will cover most medical
costs incurred in Nunavut. If you've been billed personally
for health services, you should seek reimbursement from your
provincial or Yukon health care plan within six months. Visitors
are not covered by the NWT Health Care Plan and must pay up
front for services.
The NWT Health Care Plan does not cover travellers and non-residents for ground
or air ambulance (medevac) services. Ambulance services used
while in Nunavut will be billed at full cost. Travel for medical
services will also be charged to non-residents, even if ordered
by a physician. In an emergency, the NWT plan will cover the
bill, but the costs will be charged back to the patient. Air
ambulance services are extremely expensive and can cost thousands
of dollars. Check your coverage before you leave home and purchase
supplemental coverage where necessary.
Medication and Vaccinations
Visitors who require regular medication should carry enough
with them to last the length of their stay. You should always
allow extra for unexpected delays. Community health nurses recommend
a month's supply for a two-week visit. Medication should be
carried on your person, not packed in luggage. There are two
pharmacies in Nunavut, one in Iqaluit and one in Rankin Inlet.
The Kitikmeot communities closest pharmacies are in Yellowknife.
Health centres in the communities carry basic drugs, but should
not be counted on to have specialized medication.
Generally, visitors to the North do not require immunizations other than those
needed to get into Canada from other countries. Parks Canada
recommends that visitors to Ellesmere Island National Park obtain
precautionary vaccinations against rabies and tetanus before
coming to the park. If you are planning any kind of isolated
adventure trip, this is a wise precaution to take. It is also
a good idea to make sure all your normal immunizations are up
to date before coming north.
Tel.: (867) 979-4300
Baffin Regional Hospital In Iqaluit
Tel.: (867) 979-7300 Ambulance: (867)
Cambridge Bay Dental Office
Tel.: (867) 983-2285 Fax: (867) 983-2168
Cambridge Bay Health Centre
Tel.: (867) 983-2531 Fax: (867) 983-2262
Iqaluit Dental Clinic
Tel.: (867) 979-4437 Fax: (867) 979-136
NWT Health Care Plan
Health Services Administration, Bag 003, Rankin Inlet NT. X0C 0G0
Tel.: 1-800-661-0833 or (867) 645-5002 Fax: (867) 645-2997
Rankin Inlet Dental Clinic
Tel.: (867) 645-2776 Fax: (867) 645-2750
Rankin Inlet Health Centre
Tel.: (867) 645-2816 Fax: (867) 645-2688
888-TO NORTH (888-866-6784) to
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