An independent investigation into the extent of anti-Indigenous racism in the health-care system in B.C. is complete, and the findings are set to be released on Monday at 11 a.m. PT.
The report is expected to include findings of fact and specific recommendations. Former judge Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond was tapped to lead the investigation in June.
The investigation was announced during a news conference where B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix revealed the province had been made aware of allegations that hospital emergency room staff were playing a “game” where they would guess the blood-alcohol content of Indigenous patients.
The province asked Turpel-Lafond to investigate those specific allegations but to also report back more broadly on the range and extent of Indigenous-specific racism in the provincial health-care system.
“Our task is to address the specific incidents that have been reported, as well as to gauge the levels of systemic and individual racism that Indigenous people face when using the health-care system in general,” Turpel-Lafond said in July.
She said her work was not about discovering if racism exists in health care.
“It does exist,” she said at the time.
“The objective is to examine what is happening and to work to build confidence in a health-care system that supports all people in this province.”
By the end of July, Turpel-Lafond’s team reported that 3,000 people had already participated in the investigation.
Indigenous people were invited to participate by sharing directly with investigators by phone or email or via an online survey.
Health-care workers were also encouraged to participate through an online survey and by making direct contact with the investigative team.