In July 2020, Health Minister Adrian Dix announced that Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond would be retained to conduct an investigation into racism in British Columbia’s healthcare system and report on her findings. Ms. Turpel-Lafond is a lawyer with extensive experience in Aboriginal law, UBC law professor, and former Saskatchewan Provincial Court judge. She also served as BC’s first Representative for Children and Youth.
The report – In Plain Sight: Addressing Indigenous-specific Racism and Discrimination in B.C. Health Care – outlines findings and makes 24 recommendations, including improving accountability, legislative changes, and an improved complaint process. Ms. Turpel-Lafond’s report addressed all aspects of the healthcare system, including health regulators and their possible role in addressing the findings of the report.
The College is committed to considering the recommendations and deciding on actions to eliminate Indigenous-specific racism in health care.
As a health regulator, CMTBC supports a system that provides culturally safe care and ensures that Indigenous peoples from across the province can access and receive healthcare services without discrimination. In 2017, CMTBC and 22 other BC health regulators signed the Declaration of Commitment – Cultural Safety and Humility in the Regulation of Health Professionals.
While the report’s recommendations represent further progress, there is still more to be done to ensure that Indigenous peoples consistently receive qualified, safe, and ethical care from BC health professionals. CMTBC encourages all RMTs to review the full or summary version of the report.