Healthcare inquiry finds widespread racism: report available

In June BC Health Minister Adrian Dix appointed Centre Academic Director Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, Aki-kwe, to lead an investigation into allegations of racism in BC’s health care system.

Aki-kwe examined 185,000 health-care outcomes, received more than 8,000 survey responses and conducted 150 confidential interviews.

Her final 236-page report, In Plain Sight, found “widespread stereotyping, racism and profiling of Indigenous people,” racism that limited a person’s access to medical treatment, racism that disproportionately affected Indigenous women and girls, racism that discriminated against indigenous health-care workers and students, and racism magnified by the public health emergency of COVID-19.

The report makes 24 recommendations and several First Nations leaders have already called on the BC government to implement them as soon as possible. Dix officially apologized on behalf of the BC government on Monday following the release of the report.

The full report and a shorter version are both available. Note: the report contains details that may be triggering or traumatic to Indigenous Peoples or community members.