In Canada, Indigenous people and people of colour are negatively impacted by systemic inequities in social inclusion, personal health, and access to and quality of health and social services. We also know that Indigenous people and people of colour have been over-represented in statistics on those who experience violence across Canada – for example, Indigenous women 15 years and older are 3.5 times more likely to experience violence than non-Indigenous women. This is an important and urgent health care issue.
Family physicians have a role to play in addressing the systemic racism that Indigenous people and people of colour face every day. Family physicians cannot treat the immediate health concerns of their patients without understanding and addressing the underlying social and economic factors that give rise to poor health. Health care professionals must take steps to eliminate the systemic barriers that prevent Indigenous people and people of colour from accessing the same services and care that are available to most Canadians. Some of these barriers are our own biases, which we must acknowledge and root out.
The BCCFP is committed to promoting cultural safety and humility in the practice of family medicine. We provide resources on health equity and cultural safety and humility on our website. We urge our members to review these resources and consider how you can improve your practice. We must all be actively anti-racist.
This is a time to listen, learn and reflect on what we can do together to address systemic racism in B.C. and across Canada.
- CFPC: Health and Health Care Implications of Systemic Racism on Indigenous Peoples in Canada
- Canadian Public Health Association: Racism and Public Health position statement
- First Peoples, Second-Class Treatment: The role of racism in the health and well-being of Indigenous peoples in Canada
- The BIPOC Project
- Canadian Medical Association: Equity and diversity in medicine