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Attawapiskat Doctor Talks About How Crisis Affects Women and ChildrenNov 30, 2011
Posted by Paul Murphy on December 1, 2011 at 12:06pm in Untitled Category (Change) View Discussions
Attawapiskat Doctor Talks About How Crisis Affects Women and ChildrenNov 30, 2011 at 10:53 PM Chime in now
. Courtesy Heather Ringrose
It started with the story " What if You Declared an Emergency and No One Came", in the Huffington Post, by Timmins-James Bay MP Charlie Angus, where he railed against the failure on all levels of government to act on the deteriorating conditions in Attawapiskat, a First Nation reserve off of James Bay. As winter descends on the region, dozens of its citizens are living in crowded conditions with no electricity or running water, and despite a declaration of a State of Emergency by local leaders, there had been no action by the government for three weeks. This week, the Red Cross intervened with supplies, followed by Emergency Measures Ontario and other governmental organizations. Meanwhile, media coverage of the crisis has steadily increased, thrusting this remote Northern community into the spotlight.
Heather Ringrose is a family physician based in Moose Factory. For the past two years, she has been traveling north to Attawapiskat several times a month to serve as their doctor. We caught up with her Wednesday to get her perspective the evolving crisis, and to hear why she is hopeful for the future of northern communities.
You’re originally from the Hamilton area. Why did you bring your practice North? I saw the posting for the James Bay Region when I was in medical school and I always wanted to come up here. As a family doctor here, you take care of a lot more than you would in the south, because we don't have access to specialists as readily as we would in the south. Family doctors take care of deliveries, the emergency room, hospital patients, long-term care patients, clinics, walk in clinics, phone calls from nurses etc.;
We fly to the more remote coastal communities like Attawapiskat. The people have limited access to health services compared to the south and have a lot of social issues affecting their health. You can really make a difference with your work as a doctor here. The population is predominantly Cree, and it is wonderful to work with this group. I also love the fact that we are so isolated here. There are no paved roads and no stoplights. I walk across the street to work every day. Five minutes after work, I can be in the wilderness- hiking, running, snowshoeing, kayaking, or swimming. I like to live and work in a place where you know everyone. I grew up in a small town near Hamilton, so I don't miss the city.
What keeps you there? The people, the medicine, and the immediate access you have to the wilderness.
There has been a ton of news coverage this week about the health and housing crisis in Attawapiskat. Is this story unique to that community in particular? I think that other communities up the coast of James Bay have similar issues or have had them in the past. I can't speak for a lot of other communities because I come mostly to Attawapiskat. It is more isolated than my home base community, Moose Factory, and I don't find that housing is such a big concern there. I definitely notice a difference in the conditions of the houses in Attawapiskat compared to Moosonee. Other communities have had other issues in the past years. Fort Albany, for example, had some flooding in the spring at break-up. The health clinic was separated from the rest of the clinic by a large body of ice and water. For a few weeks, the only way to get to the clinic was by canoe or helicopter. In the past, other coastal communities have been relocated because of flooding.
How is the situation in Attawapiskat affecting the health of girls and women? It is hard for new mothers to get new homes for their new families. A lot of these young wome
Injured workers and their Famiies and communities need to be recognized. Sound Familiar. Workplace Safety and Insurance Board Managing Injured Workers I, Paul Murphy believe that the WSIB has inserted itself into a role between Employers/Workplaces and Injured Employees. The WSIB has implemented countless strategies that are by design to manage and monitor injured workers. Therefore, I strongly wish to encourage the WSIB to recognize this role and to create policies and procedures that allow them to act in a manner that further recognizes the needs and best interests of all injured workers. They have chosen to take on a fiduciary responsibility for the complex issues that surround injured workers. By and large they have ignored and marginalized workers over their history through legislative acts. I invite the WSIB to begin to take on the role of mediator and finally begin to recognize the role that it has long ignored. Families of injured employees continue wait for fairness and equality.
fiduciary 1640, from L. fiduciarius "(holding) in trust," from fidere "to trust" (see faith). In Roman law, fiducia was "a right transferred in trust;" paper currency sense (1878) is because its value depends on the trust of the public. Paul Murphy www.obesitythunderbay.ning.com
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