Birthing services suspended in Rankin Inlet, says government

Expecting mothers will have to travel to Iqaluit or Winnipeg after the government suspended birthing services in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut.

Prenatal care services will still continue, says Nunavut Health Department

A file photo of a doctor screening a pregnant woman. Expecting mothers in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, will have to travel to Iqaluit of Winnipeg to give birth, the government said Tuesday. (Serhii Bobyk/Shutterstock)

The Nunavut government says birthing services in Rankin Inlet are temporarily suspended due to lack of staffing.

In a news release Tuesday, the Health Department advised expecting mothers in the Kivalliq region of this change, and said mothers will be assessed and sent to either Iqaluit or Winnipeg to deliver.

The department says the suspension is "due to challenges in the recruitment of midwives in Nunavut and across Canada," in the news release. It said that services will come back once its necessary staffing levels are reached.

The department says prenatal care in Rankin Inlet will continue, and there will be additional health professionals at Iqaluit's Qikiqtani General Hospital who will help support prenatal care for mothers in Rankin Inlet.

"The Department of Health is committed to providing midwifery and maternal/newborn health services in Nunavut and is currently reviewing options for the recruitment and retention of midwives to resume birthing services as soon as possible," the news release states.