Thanks to the Ontario Medical Association (OMA), physicians in Nunavut now have their own representative on the CMA's General Council (GC).
About 15 doctors reside in the vast northern territory, which is also served by fly-in physicians who make scheduled visits. Nunavut covers more than 2 million square kilometres and is home to about 33,300 people, with Inuit residents accounting for 85% of the total population.
"I'm very pleased that Ontario can step forward and help bring greater attention to the needs and concerns of Nunavut's medical community," OMA President Scott Wooder said in August when he announced the OMA would sponsor a Nunavut doctor's attendance at "Canada's parliament of medicine," the CMA's annual General Council meeting. "Ontario doctors have always participated in the treatment of Nunavut patients, so it's fitting that physicians from both jurisdictions are now formally linked."
Surgeon Katherine Canil, who has practised in Nunavut for 18 years, says the territory's doctors are delighted with the move.
"A group of long-term, dedicated physicians is living and working with the most marginalized people in Canada," she said. "We ourselves have also been marginalized because of our remoteness and small numbers.
"On behalf of the wonderful, resilient and worthy people we serve, we're most grateful to the OMA and CMA for this incredible opportunity to be a working part of the CMA."
GC delegates subsequently approved a bylaw amendment that makes the Nunavut participation possible.