Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond says her investigation into allegations of anti-Indigenous racism in B.C.’s health-care system has sparked hundreds of calls and emails from people who have faced discrimination by doctors and nurses in the province.
Turpel-Lafond was appointed to lead an investigation in June by Health Minister Adrian Dix after highly disturbing allegations were brought forward that emergency room doctors and nurses in at least one hospital were guessing the blood-alcohol levels of patients in similar fashion to TV game show The Price Is Right.
On Thursday (July 9), Turpel-Lafond announced the launch of an online survey and hotline for Indigenous people interested and able to share their experiences.
“This is a truth-telling exercise on the state of racism against Indigenous people in the health care system,” the former provincial child advocate said.
Led by Turpel-Lafond, the investigation team includes members with direct clinical experience, knowledge of the health care system and expertise in conducting complex investigations, she said. It will look at the specific allegation brought forward, as well as a wider look at systemic racism in B.C. health care.
Anybody with specific experience or knowledge of racism in the health care system is being encouraged to call the hotline at 1-888-600-3078 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I urge Indigenous peoples to participate in our survey so that we can get an accurate picture of how broad these problems are,” Turpel-Lafond said. “This is your chance to speak.”
More to come.
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