It is alleged that in one or more Emergency Departments in the province, a game takes place in which health care providers place bets on the blood alcohol level of mainly Indigenous patients they treat. Health Minister Adrian Dix has appointed former Representative for Children and Youth, Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, to lead an investigation into the allegation.
The allegations are disturbing and unacceptable. As president of Doctors of BC and as a physician, I am deeply saddened to hear about this alleged behaviour. There is no place for racism in our communities, in our profession, or within the health care system, yet this example shows that there is still much work to be done.
It is critical that the allegations are fully investigated, and that we listen and truly understand the impact that the behaviour of health care providers can have on Indigenous peoples.
Doctors of BC is committed to working with all partners to support this process to address systemic racism and to create a respectful, inclusive, and culturally safe health care system. As a physician association dedicated to supporting the health and well-being of patients and communities, we want to see every patient treated equally with the respect and dignity they deserve.
A statement from the Section of Emergency Medicine can be found here.