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BC leaders speak out on alleged racist incident

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 3:58 PDT, Fri June 19, 2020

BC’s leaders are condemning alleged racist incidents in the healthcare system.

“I am outraged by reports of ugly, anti-Indigenous, racist behaviour at multiple health-care facilities in BC,” said Premier John Horgan. “No one should fear discrimination when they need help the most. No one should worry that when they visit a hospital that they will be prejudged and given a lower standard of care. If confirmed, this is a heartbreaking example of systemic racism in our province.

“This will not be swept aside. We will not look the other way when racism is exposed. We will get a full account and changes will be made,” said Horgan.

“The allegation is that a game was being played to guess the blood-alcohol level of patients in emergency rooms, with Indigenous peoples and perhaps others,” added Health Minister Adrian Dix.

He added that Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond will lead investigation of the issue to determine the facts.

“We need to get to the root of these problems, and that begins with an understanding that racist attitudes and actions have a real and devastating impact on health outcomes, creating trauma that can affect generations,” said Dix. “Everyone who comes to our hospitals deserves and should be able to expect access to respectful and culturally safe care.

“We are committed to continuing the work and engagement that brought these reports forward, and will be working together with Indigenous health and community leaders on next steps.”

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