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Minister touts progress against Indigenous racism in health care

B.C.’s Ministry of Health said it has made some significant milestones in its efforts to take on Indigenous-specific racism in the province’s healthcare system. 

The update comes two years after the B.C. government began implementing 24 recommendations from the In Plain Sight: Addressing Indigenous-specific Racism and Discrimination in BC Health Care report. 

“Every single person in B.C. deserves to be able to safely access the health care they need when they need it,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health.  

“We continue to make progress on all 24 recommendations from the In Plain Sight report, but we know there is more we can do to eradicate Indigenous-specific racism from our healthcare system.  

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“Nobody should have to experience judgment, rejection, abuse or harm in receiving the health care they need, and we are committed to making that a reality for all people in B.C.” 

The In Plain Sight task team, formed in May 2021, was made up of Indigenous and Métis leaders, health-system partner leaders and healthcare experts. 

B.C. government officials said they have implemented many of the 24 recommendations with more underway, including the Health Professions and Occupations Act (Bill 36). 

“The bill lays out anti-discrimination measures that aim to strengthen the response to Indigenous-specific racism in health care, enhance complaints processes and make the health system culturally safe for Indigenous Peoples and all people in British Columbia,” said B.C. government officials. 

Provincial officials said work to make B.C.’s healthcare system equitable for Iindigenous people will continue. 

“I want to congratulate the task team and all of our system partners for their extraordinary work implementing the 24 recommendations,” said Dix.  

“I look forward to continuing to work with Indigenous leaders, health-system partners and health authorities throughout B.C. on this vital work. I encourage everybody to read this progress report to learn about the foundational work that the task team members produced.” 

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