The province is asking Indigenous people to share their experiences of racism in B.C.’s health care system.
This comes amid allegations that health care workers played a racist game, to guess the blood-alcohol level of patients in emergency rooms, with the focus on Indigenous patients.
They can get involved by taking a survey or by sharing a specific story of experiencing or witnessing racism in the B.C. health care system via email or phone.
Contact information can be found here.
Health minister Adrian Dix appointed Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond to lead an independent investigation into these allegations.
The investigation will be done in stages and more than one report may be issued.
Report(s) will be made to the Minister of Health before December 31st, 2020 and will also be made public.
Following the allegations, health authorities across B.C. released the following statement:
“Racism has no place in our hospitals, our workplaces, or our society.
We were recently made aware of a report of an unacceptable, racist practice that may be occurring in emergency departments in B.C.
If true, this activity would be evidence of systemic racism and discrimination, underscoring the significant health disparities Indigenous people in our province experience.
We take reports of this nature extremely seriously. To be clear: discriminatory behaviour in any B.C. health care facility is unacceptable and violates our principles, policies and values.”