Breaking: Investigation reveals ‘widespread’ racism in B.C. healthcare system

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond releases a technical report on findings of independent investigation into Indigenous-specific racism.

A report on the findings of an independent investigation into Indigenous-specific racism in the B.C. healthcare system has been released.

Lead investigator Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, a Canadian lawyer, judge, and legislative advocate for children’s rights, has found “widespread and insidious” problems of prejudice and racism throughout the B.C. healthcare system.

Her report titled In Plain Sight says 84 per cent of Indigenous people that were surveyed reported experiencing “some form of discrimination in health care.” 

Additionally, 54 per cent of Indigenous health care workers surveyed reported experiencing racial prejudice at work — the majority being racist comments from coworkers.

The investigation began as a response to allegations that healthcare workers were playing a “game” to guess the blood alcohol levels of Indigenous patients.

The report did not find that this game was widespread or happening today, however investigators did find “anecdotal reports that resemble these allegations.”

(More to come) 

Editor’s note, Nov. 30, 2020: A previous version of this story said that 54 per cent of healthcare workers reported experiencing racism, when it is in fact, 52 per cent.

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