Report shows need for immediate government action to address racism in B.C. health care

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    VANCOUVER – Today, former judge and provincial child advocate Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond released her report In Plain Sight, which examines racism in B.C. health care. The report highlights the need for further action from government to eliminate racism and discrimination from our health care system.

    “The picture of racism and discrimination painted in the report by Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond breaks my heart and makes it clear we all have so much more work to do,” said Renee Merrifield, BC Liberal Critic for Health and MLA for Kelowna-Mission. “When entering a health care facility, no one should feel shunned or made to feel they are being a burden — they need to focus on getting better. And now, this report clearly shows that it’s time for health officials and government to make the system better.

    While Turpel-Lafond’s report did not find any substance to the initial accusation, it emphasizes the work that is still needed to break the cycle of discrimination and racism that prevents Indigenous people in B.C. from seeking the care they need.

    “In her report, Ms. Turpel-Lafond has laid out a plan for moving forward and creating a more equitable and inclusive health care system,” said Teresa Wat, BC Liberal Critic for Tourism, Arts & Culture and Anti-Racism Initiatives and MLA for Richmond North Centre. “We encourage the government to start implementing her recommendations immediately, so that we can create a health care system that truly meets the needs of all British Columbians and eliminates racist attitudes and practices in the system.”