Medicine in the Remote and Rural North, 1800–2000
works argued that rontiers were pushed back either because o the demands o domestic and/or export markets, or because o the initiative o adventurous peo-ple eager to carve out a livelihood or themselves. Neither case involved any greatconcern or people already living in these areas. More recently, Magnus Mörnerdemonstrates that this ‘policy o exclusion’ did not characterize all attempts tomove into new territories. Instead, he argues that Swedes who moved north-ward during the nineteenth century generally pursued a ‘policy o inclusion’that involved taking into account the needs and concerns o the local Sami. T isis not to say that there were no sources o contention or that the relationshipbetween the Sami and the new settlers was ree o con ict and suspicion.
T e point here is that there are considerable advantages to envisioning ‘theNorth’ in a variety o ways that has little to do with its geographical location. T emost useul o these encourage us to ocus our attention on the way governmentof cials, new arrivals and local inhabitants perceived this area. It is also worthwhileto view this area as a uid rontier best characterized as a region o compromise andnegotiation but also one where underlying sources o con ict were o en aroused.
Both approaches o er the opportunity to discover many regions in the world thatwere and are, in some way, similar to the northern societies studied here.
Numerous themes and topics are raised in these essays that are relevant notonly to a discussion o how medicine was practised in rural and remote areas o the recent past, but also to current attempts to improve medical care in moreisolated regions o the world in the twenty- rst century. For example, it is nosecret that many governments and NGOs are engaged in an ongoing struggleto improve maternal and inant health throughout much o the world. T eseorganizations and individual practitioners are conronting many o the samelogistical and cultural obstacles as did their counterparts in northern Europe andNorth America who are the subject o this volume. How can these governmentso today rationalize access to medicine and entice trained medical practitionersto work in remote areas? T ere has been a long history o opposition to outsid-ers attempting to impose new medical practices on local populations.
How didthose doctors and midwives earn the trust and respect o their patients? Whatrole is there or traditional and unlicensed practitioners with the encroachmento more modern medical practices?T ere is obviously an argument or extending the geographical and temporalscope o any collection o essays that addresses such questions but those pre-sented here ocus on the various challenges and rewards o practising medicinein northern latitudes rom the second hal o the nineteenth century to the latetwentieth century. It would be impossible to overstate the hardships that doctors,nurses, midwives, olk healers and patients conronted in their pursuit o goodhealth or, at the very least, a little less discomort in their daily lives. Similarly, itwould be unair to belittle the e orts various governments have undertaken in