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Addressing Indigenous racism and discrimination in B.C.’s health care system

Thursday, February 4, 2021
Addressing Indigenous racism and discrimination in B.C.’s health care system

Indigenous people wishing to share their experiences of racism and discrimination in health care may still do so. We have asked Kerrie Reay to continue in her role from the Addressing Racism Investigation by Dr. Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond to ensure callers are provided with the time and understanding to speak to their experiences and concerns, help navigate the complaint processes, help with accessing health records and making referrals. You can reach Kerrie at either:

Toll-free: 1-888-600-3078
Email us: Addressing_Racism@bcombudsperson.ca

Indigenous peoples in B.C. have inequitable access to preventative and primary health care services, which perpetuates poorer health outcomes for First Nations, Métis and Inuit populations in the province, the final report of the Addressing Racism Review shows.

A comprehensive data report, released on February 4, 2021, by Independent Reviewer Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, brings together the data and information collected by the Review, which was commissioned by B.C.’s Minister of Health in June 2020. The data report follows up on the In Plain Sight: Addressing Indigenous-Specific Racism in B.C. Health Care report released on Nov. 30, 2020.

The initial In Plain Sight reports offered 24 Recommendations to eliminate Indigenous-specific racism and make health care safer and more effective in B.C. One of those Recommendations called for the establishment of an Office of the Indigenous Health Representative and Advocate, as well as improvements to complaints processes. The new Representative and Advocate position will receive complaints from people who have concerns of Indigenous racism in the health care sector.

While the work to establish this office is underway, the BC Ombudsperson has agreed to Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond’s suggestion that, in the interim, the Ombudsperson assume management of the toll-free phone and email submission options offered to the public by the Review.

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