Quebec to hire more nurses to address overcrowding in north after death of 10 infants

MONTREAL — Health officials in northern Quebec say they are taking steps to hire more nurses and Inuit staff after a coroner's report released last month linked the deaths of 10 infants in the region to overcrowding.

The regional health board said today that a recruitment drive is underway to hire more nurses to vaccinate children against disease and offer preventive services to the Inuit communities of Nunavik.

The health agency says it is also trying to hire Inuit staff who understand the needs of residents and who can speak Inuktitut.

In her report, Quebec coroner Geneviève Thériault called on the provincial and federal governments to invest the necessary resources to quickly offer safe social housing to families in the northern region of Quebec.

Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada said in an email that in 2022, it budgeted $845 million over five years for Indigenous housing.

Quebec's secretariat for relations with First Nations and Inuit peoples says it won't comment before reading the coroner's report.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 10, 2022.

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

The Canadian Press