On June 14, 2022, a new Cultural Safety and Humility standard was released. This is the first standard of this type within Canada and was the culmination of years of effort and partnership between the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA), the Health Standards Organization and multiple Indigenous organizations and thought leaders. The standard is currently being used to help guide health system organizations as they work towards improved cultural safety and humility with the intent that this standard will subsequently become part of the suite of accreditation standards that Accreditation Canada uses to assess and accredit health care organizations.
On November 24, 2022, the B.C. government received royal assent for the new Health Professions and Occupations Act to reduce the number of regulatory colleges through amalgamation, reform complaints processes to improve accountability and transparency, commit to cultural safety and humility and improve governance systems. This represents a proactive approach and significant step forward to eliminate discrimination in B.C.’s health care system. Regulated health professionals and regulated occupations under the Act will be required to embed anti-discrimination measures in the delivery of health care services. Discrimination will be a form of professional misconduct or actionable conduct, which will require regulatory colleges to take action against professionals and occupations when they discriminate against others.
- Policies/reports developed: First annual progress report on the In Plain Sight recommendations was released December 1, 2022.
How are we working together?
The various elements of the recommendations require different approaches for consultation and co-operation depending on who is leading the implementation and who the key partners are. Partnership with Indigenous organizations, leaders and communities across the province primarily include FNHA, Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC), First Nations Health Council (FNHC), regional Nation executive tables and the First Nations Leadership Council (FNLC). Some recommendations are being pursued primarily through partnerships and actions from health authorities. The approach that each health authority is taking on implementation can be driven by their relationships with FNHA, MNBC and regional Indigenous leaders and governing bodies. While there are significant alignments across the province, each region can have a unique structure and processes that work in that regional context. There are also regular meetings with the vice presidents from across the health authorities, as well as regular meetings with the board members. The Ministry of Health continues to observe and learn from the collaboration and co-operation pathways that other projects and ministries are following in addition to the guidance provided by the Declaration Act Secretariat.
Are there challenges?
The greatest risks to full implementation in a timely manner are competing priorities and finite capacity across the health system and Indigenous organizations and communities for meaningful engagement and partnerships. The Ministry of Health recognizes that Indigenous Peoples and many other health system partners have not been adequately resourced to meet the competing and increasingly heavy and complex demands on their capacity for full co-operation and collaboration on all issues and opportunities.