The investigative report on Indigenous-specific discrimination in BC health care by Justice Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond is now released. It is titled “In Plain Sight”.
It was initiated due to media reports of specific racist comments in emergency departments in BC. It is a fair and balanced report. It clearly describes Indigenous peoples as disadvantaged in our health care system. This disadvantage is compounded by systemic and widespread racism. As individual health care providers, it is fundamentally important that we all understand what Indigenous communities and individuals have suffered.
As organizations charged with improving health care in our province, it is essential that we understand and act on the recommendations from the report. Our emergency medicine community will work with the Faculty of Medicine, the BC College of Physicians and Surgeons, BC Health Authorities and others, toward a meaningful understanding of the truth and making significant changes toward reconciliation. In doing so we will all benefit.
The report can be accessed here:
I urge you to read it and for us as a community to work together to improve our emergency health care system and our society for all. Please share your thoughts below on the report, and what we can do as a community to respond.
Jim Christenson, MD, FRCPC
Executive Lead, BC Emergency Medicine Network
Professor and Head, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine
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