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Actions taken in response to In Plain Sight report

In response to the In Plain Sight report, government passed the Health Professions and Occupations Act (HPOA), previously known as Bill 36, to improve health outcomes for Indigenous Peoples, to break cycles of systemic racism throughout the health sector, and to support and recruit Indigenous health providers to bolster the system’s inclusivity.

  • The HPOA’s goal is to ensure that B.C.’s health-care system continues to provide the best possible care to the people and families that live in this province, and it does that by strengthening protections for patients.
  • In response to a recommendation made in the In Plain Sight report, the HPOA received royal assent in the B.C. Legislative Assembly on Nov. 24, 2022, with provisions to address Indigenous-specific racism in the health-care system.
  • The Ministry of Health worked for over a year in consultation and co-operation with numerous Indigenous leadership groups to draft this legislation.
  • HPOA is just one facet of the fight against Indigenous-specific racism in the health-care system. Other work continues, including creating safe spaces and processes for Indigenous people to self-identify when bringing complaints and issues forward. There is also significant work underway on strengthening cultural safety and humility training for everyone in the health-care system.
  • The HPOA makes numerous changes to how health professionals are regulated in this province with significant focus on dealing with discrimination and cultural safety and humility.
  • This was also done to align with the requirements of the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act that mandates the government to bring laws into alignment with UNDRIP.
  • Through the HPOA, B.C.’s government has defined Indigenous-specific racism as a harm, for the first time in history.
  • This will make it clear that people have a right to be free of discrimination including based on Indigenous identity when receiving health services in B.C. The protected grounds of discrimination link to the B.C. Human Rights Code. This means that in addition to discrimination based on Indigenous identity, the HPOA will also address discrimination based on other overlapping grounds such as gender, sex and sexual orientation.
  • The HPOA clarifies that discrimination is misconduct/actionable conduct. This includes discrimination based on the protected ground of “Indigenous identity.”

In response to recommendation 24 from the In Plan Sight report, government formed a task team to propel and ensure the implementation of all recommendations.

  • This In Plain Sight task team, represented by 31 First Nations and Métis leaders, health system partner leaders and health-care experts from around the province, first convened in May 2021 and had a two-year term thatconcluded in June 2023.
  • The task team and the Ministry of Health’s Indigenous Health and Reconciliation division worked together to ensure continuing progress on implementing the 24 recommendations of the In Plain Sight report.
  • This two-year progress report is the final deliverable for the task team.