This section presents the physical-health services offered in Nunavik. Click on the topic you wish to learn about and find out how to access the services that respond to your needs of those of a loved one.
To find out where the services are provided, visit the section Institutions
Tranversal Activities - Medical Biology
Tranversal Activities - Medical Imaging
Physical Impairment and Rehabilitation
Pregnancy and Childbirth
Chronic Diseases, Cancer and Palliative Care
Ilusiliriniqmi Pigutjiutini Qimirruniq (IPQ): Clinical Project in Physical Health
For a blood test or other specimens, the Inuulitsivik Health Centre (IHC) and the Ungava Tulattavik (UTHC) Health Centre as well as the CLSCs of Nunavik offer services without appointment and during specific periods each week. To consult the schedule for specimens, contact your nearest CLSC or health centre.
When consulting, do not forget:
- to bring your valid health-insurance card*;
- to follow instructions, if applicable, before arriving (empty stomach, no alcohol, etc.);
- to not take your medication the morning of a blood test, unless otherwise indicated by your physician;
- to bring the specimen form provided by your physician, if applicable.
Specimens at Home
Specimens at home are possible only for the clientele with much reduced mobility and by referral.
* If your card is no longer valid, visit the CLSC or health centre to fill out a renewal form.
Medical imaging enables obtaining information on the human body through, for example, X-rays, nuclear imaging, ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
A physician’s referral is necessary if you need to undergo a medical-imaging examination. For that purpose, you will need to consult your family physician or another physician at the nearest CLSC or health centre.
Plain X-rays and obstetric/pelvic ultrasound
In Nunavik, the medical-imaging services offered are plain X-rays and obstetric and pelvic ultrasound. These examinations are performed at the Inuulitsivik Health Centre and at the Ungava Tulattavik Health Centre. Note that the CLSCs of Kangiqsualujjuaq, Salluit, Inukjuak and Kuujjuaraapik offer X-ray services on an ad hoc basis. Check with your nurse or physician for the date of the next visit of the medical-imaging technician.
Computerized axial tomography (CAT scan), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound other than obstetric and other examinations
These services are not offered in the region. Consequently, the examinations are performed at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC). If required according to your physician, your health centre’s or CLSC’s liaison services as well as the Northern Québec Module (MNQ) will help organize your visit.
In the Nunavik region, community and hospital pharmacy services are provided at the Inuulitsivik Health Centre and at the Ungava Tulattavik Health Centre as well as the CLSCs. The hours for community services are Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Basic dentistry services are offered on the Hudson coast in Puvirnituq, Inukjuak and Salluit. On the Ungava, these services are available in Kuujjuaq, Kangiqsujuaq and Kangiqsualujjuaq.
If you wish to consult a dentist, contact your nearest CLSC or the dental clinic at the hospital centre.
IHC dental clinic
Telephone: 819-988-2957, extension 288
UTHC dental clinic
Telephone: 819-964-2905, extension 220
More-complex services are also offered in certain communities by dentists based in the region or through referral by visiting denture therapists, orthodontists, prosthodontists or maxillofacial surgeons. If necessary, the dentist can refer you for treatments in the South.
Physical impairment is characterized by an impairment of hearing, vision, language or motor skills. It can exist at birth or occur at any moment in life. It is permanent and prevents the accomplishment of routine activities and the exercise of social roles.
The needs of physically impaired individuals vary according to diverse factors such as age, sex, level of autonomy, environment, presence of other disorders or diseases and so forth.
The services destined for physically impaired individuals aim to:
- develop and maintain their functional autonomy;
- compensate for their disabilities;
- facilitate their full social participation.
- assistance at home
- nursing care
- psychosocial services
- nutrition services*
- rehabilitation services (physiotherapy and occupational therapy**)
- access to equipment to maintain or improve their autonomy and ensure their safety
- access to regional impairment programs
Information and application for home assistance
The nearest CLSC and the health centre are the ports of entry to all home-support services. The personnel of those resources refer applications to the home-support teams, which are composed of various health professionals (e.g., nurses, social workers, family aides).
For access to other services
Physical-rehabilitation services are offered only at the health centres, from Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Depending on your condition, or for second- and third-line services, you may be referred to the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) or the Constance Lethbridge Rehabilitation Centre (if an agreement exists).
*Services offered only at the Ungava Tulattavik Health Centre (UTHC).
** Regional service under development, for the moment available only at the UTHC.
Are you pregnant or think you might be?
The health centres offer various services:
- monitoring of pregnancy and prenatal information;
- support during an undesired pregnancy.
Monitoring of Pregnancy and Prenatal Information
If you are pregnant or think you are, contact the nearest CLSC or health centre to obtain services.
If you live in Kuujjuaq, Puvirnituq, Inukjuak or Salluit, your pregnancy will be monitored by a midwife. If you live in another community, monitoring will be performed by a nurse or a physician, up to the 36th or 37th week.
Child delivery can be performed at the health centres (Kuujjuaq and Puvirnituq), at the CLSCs (Inukjuak and Salluit) or at home (Kuujjuaq, Puvirnituq, Inukjuak and Salluit). When the situation requires, deliveries may be performed at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC).
For further information on midwifery services, consult the section of services and programs of the Department of Inuit Values and Practices.
Also see the section on Ilagiilluta (ISPEC program)
Support during Undesired Pregnancies
Have you just found out you are pregnant, or are you unsure about continuing your pregnancy?
Contact the nearest CLSC or health centre to explore your options.
Advice on making a decision
Chronic diseases are non-contagious diseases that develop gradually, can limit daily activities in the long term and are often incurable. They can be attributed to a range of causes that affect an individual throughout life.
Chronic diseases include cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), high blood pressure, diseases of the musculoskeletal apparatus (which permits body movements), neurodegenerative diseases (such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis), psychiatric disorders and cancer.
For further information concerning healthy lifestyles, visit the section on prevention and health promotion to learn about healthy lifestyles to adopt in order to help prevent chronic diseases.
Cancer is a disease of the cells which reproduce abnormally. The most frequent forms of cancer in Nunavik are:
- lung cancer;
- colorectal cancer;
- breast cancer.
Certain screening activities are performed at the Nunavik health centres, including:
- screening for colorectal cancer, under the Québec screening program for colorectal cancer (PQDCCR);
- screening for breast cancer, under the Québec screening program for breast cancer (PQDCS);
- screening for cervical cancer.
Investigation, diagnosis, treatment and services
If your physician suspects that you have cancer, you will need to undergo a certain number of medical examinations. This period is the “investigation.” Certain simple examinations can be performed at the region’s health centres, but others that are more advanced must be performed at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) in Montréal.
If cancer is confirmed, which is called the “diagnosis,” monitoring is ensured by the MUHC’s oncology team. Treatment and services would then be offered in Montréal. In certain situations, oral chemotherapy may be offered in the region.
For further information
CURE Foundation (breast cancer)
Québec Breast Cancer Foundation
Canadian Cancer Society
Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada
Palliative and End-of-Life Care
Depending on their state of health, patients at the end of life and their families can receive support at home, at a health centre or in a palliative-care home. The region’s health centres can offer certain services. Outside the region, the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) and palliative-care homes also offer this type of care and services. With the physician, you can discuss your options or those of your loved ones.
Palliative-care services in Nunavik are presently being revised, particularly with the sanctioning of the Act respecting end-of-life care.
In front-line services, an individual’s needs are assessed and addressed directly, without a preliminary step. Those needs may be related to the individual’s physical health (STBI, pregnancy, respiratory problem, suspected fracture, etc.) or mental health. They may also be related to a difficult situation or a psychosocial problem.
Front-line services are provided at the following:
- elders’ homes;
- community organizations;
They are provided by a physician, a health professional or a nurse exercising a broadened role.
You may consult at your nearest CLSC or health centre, from Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Outside those hours, for emergencies only, you can reach a nurse at all times by dialling the emergency number 819-XXX-9090.
All cases are dealt with confidentially.
The Inuulitsivik Health Centre (IHC) and the Ungava Tulattavik (CSTU) Health Centre offer several second-line (specialized) and third-line (ultraspecialized) services. Those services are provided on an ad hoc basis by visiting medical specialists, mostly from the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC). Provision of those services means better accessibility and continuity in the provision of care to which Nunavimmiut are entitled.
When specialized services are required, a family physician may refer an individual to the appropriate medical specialist. Coordination of these services is ensured by the personnel of liaison services or certain CLSCs, as the case may be.
What services are offered?
Below is a detailed list of services offered on the Nunavik territory:
For more information, contact your physician, nurse or liaison service.
What is telemedicine?
Telemedicine or remote medicine consists of using information and communications technologies to enable or facilitate certain medical acts. The term covers various medical practices, such as remote consultation and data transfers.
Offering care through telemedicine enables a more significant contribution to the improvement of the Nunavik population’s health while ensuring the provision of specialized and ultraspecialized health services as close as possible to the users’ place of residence.
- In rural and remote regions, improve the accessibility of specialized care, as close as possible to the users’ place of residence, while reducing travel, related costs and stress for patients and their families.
- In rural and remote regions, improve the quality of care by accelerating the process of clinical decisions, treatment and prevention of medical complications, more specifically in emergency and trauma cases.
What are the services (non-exhaustive list)?
- Obstetric and pelvic ultrasound, certain pediatric ultrasound or pediatric renal ultrasound
- Child psychiatry
*Service offered only on the Hudson coast.
For more information, contact your liaison service.
The objectives of the IPQ in physical health are as follows:
- Ensure a smooth trajectory, from the moment when a health problem occurs to its complete resolution;
- Develop service agreements;
- Ensure health care respects Inuit values and practices;
- Patriate a maximum of care to the North.
The activities are divided into eight service continuums:
- Perinatality and women’s health;
- Mental health (adult and child psychiatry);
- General services, chronic diseases, cancer and palliative care;
- Acute care;
- Specialized medicine (second and third lines);
- Physical impairment and physical rehabilitation;
Transversal activities will be covered under the service continuums, which will include, for example: