Report finds widespread racism in BC’s health care system

An investigation that set out to unravel a racist guessing game rumoured to be happening in one BC hospital’s emergency ward has revealed massive racism against Indigenous people around the province, both as consumers of health care and as health-care employees.

In Plain Sight, a report from BC’s former child and youth representative Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, found rampant incidents of racism and discrimination among the nearly 9,000 responses to a survey this summer that was part of the report.

Some 84 per cent of the 2,800 Indigenous people who responded as health-care consumers reported personal experiences of racism and discrimination, as did more than half of the Indigenous health-care workers who were among the 5,000 workers who responded. Indigenous health-care workers reported that the majority of the racism they experienced came from their work colleagues.

Health Minister Adrian Dix responded to the report by apologizing to Indigenous people and announcing a task force that will be responsible for implementing the report’s 24 recommendations.

“Racism has made B.C.’s health-care system an unsafe place for many Indigenous peoples to access services and the care they need,” he acknowledged to media after the report’s release.

Read the full report below.