Canada's New Government and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami announce a new joint task group and workplan on Inuit health

    OTTAWA, April 18 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of
Health and Mary Simon, President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), today
agreed to a joint workplan developed by a newly formed Health Canada /ITK Task
Group that aims to improve Inuit health.
    The Task Group will explore and develop approaches in areas of mutual
interest for improving Inuit health. The joint work plan will focus on four
key areas: implementation of an Office of Inuit Health at Health Canada to
better address Inuit specific health issues; cross-jurisdictional
collaboration; quality of and access to health services; and exploring
approaches for strengthening Inuit data sharing and infrastructure,
information and research through partnerships at the regional and national
    "This joint initiative demonstrates our commitment to work
collaboratively with ITK to explore initiatives to advance Inuit health,"
stated Minister Clement. "Canada's New Government will continue to involve and
work with Inuit leaders to improve Inuit health," added Minister Clement.
    "I applaud this integrated approach to addressing the key priorities and
issues which impact the health of Inuit across our four regions," said Mary
Simon, President of ITK. "The work plan is an important tool for ITK and the
federal government to set and achieve clear targets in those areas that can
best support the advancement of Inuit health."
    The six-person Task Group consists of senior officials from Health
Canada: a representative from the Deputy Minister's office; Assistant Deputy
Minister, First Nations and Inuit Health Branch - Ian Potter; and a
representative from the Office of the Minister of Health - Jo Kennelly; ITK
Executive Director - Jim Moore; Health Director - Onalee Randell; and
chairperson of the National Inuit Committee on Health - Natan Obed.
    The activities identified in the workplan, including position papers and
jointly developed strategies and options, are expected to be completed in the
fall 2007. The Task Group, which will report directly to the Minister of
Health and the President of ITK, will report on progress and outcomes at the
end of its mandate in September 2007.

    Egalement disponible en français

For further information:

For further information: Media Enquiries: Carole Saindon, Health Canada,
(613) 957-1588; Erik Waddell, Office of the Honourable Tony Clement, Federal
Minister of Health, (613) 957-0200; Stephen Hendrie, Communications Director,
Cell: (613) 277-3178,; Public Enquiries: (613) 957-2991,
1-866-225-0709; Health Canada news releases are available on the Internet at

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