30 November 2020

Following is a statement from Christina Krause, chief executive officer of the BC Patient Safety & Quality Council

I am grateful to Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond and her team for her investigation and report on Indigenous-specific systemic racism within BC’s health care system. The stories and data shared in the report are unacceptable, and the substantial inequities in the quality of care received by Indigenous peoples, as well as in their health and wellness outcomes, demand action.

Indigenous peoples in BC need to feel safe and respected when they seek care. We can and must do better. The system changes proposed will lay a foundation for this work; however, we must also focus on the individual mindsets and belief systems that drive the behaviours we have seen.

The Council is committed to learning from this report and taking action to improve the quality of care for Indigenous peoples. Core to quality care is that it is free of racism and the Council will continue to champion and challenge the system in response to this report. We know we need to extend beyond the work we have done to date on advancing cultural safety and humility as well as redefining quality to ensure it reflects the teachings and values of Indigenous people through the BC Health Quality Matrix.

I’m thankful to the thousands of people who shared their experiences with the investigation. Now it’s on all of us to act so that their courage leads to change and Indigenous peoples can access a system that is free of prejudice and discrimination against them.

We encourage all British Columbians to read the report, and to reflect on their own action and commitments that can be made in response: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/addressingracism