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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Congratulations to B.C. on landmark agreement improving on health services for First Nations

We want to commend the B.C. First Nations Health Society, B.C. First Nations Health Council, and the federal and provincial ministries of health on the landmark agreement transferring responsibility for First Nations health care in British Columbia to a new agency.
The agreement indicates the new agency will be responsible for on-reserve programs like primary care, mental health, maternal and child health services and addiction services. The agency will work with established health authorities in B.C. to ensure First Nations’ cultural knowledge and practices are incorporated into their care.

We’re happy to see that the agreement echoes some findings and recommendations from our recent report on Aboriginal health. The report talked about how funding policies for Aboriginal health lack focus on prevention and community health, and that Western medicine tends to look at health issues in isolation rather than as a balance of physical, spiritual and emotional health. As a result, it is important for Aboriginal communities, who know what they need and what programs are working, to be able to take responsibility for their own health.

Check out this video from the signing of the agreement in Squamish territory, West Vancouver, B.C.:

Congratulations again to all parties involved, we look forward to seeing the results of this agreement.

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