Indigenous Health Website Launched
Some of the materials produced to break down barriers – photo 250News
Prince George, B.C. – What used to be Aboriginal Health is now Indigenous Health and the name change comes as a new Indigenous Health website has been launched.
Over the past year, there has been a great deal of work to partner with Indigenous peoples and communities, all with a goal of improving health outcomes in the Indigenous population. The idea is to provide care through a cultural lens and provide “cultural safety”.
That’s why a special video has been developed to help health care providers understand the history, the issues and make the health care system more welcoming for Indigenous people and their families. Understanding Indigenous cultures and practices can go a long way in making patients feel respected, and safe when entering the health care system.
“There are numerous examples of our community members entering the health care system being judged the second they cross through that door” says Nicole Cross, Regional Manager of First Nations Health Authority. “When First Nations people enter the major hospital system for example there can be an assumption by many people about the different things that are bringing them in. I have heard numerous stories about people who have gone in with issues with diabetes and it is assumed it’s a result of drinking.” She says the training that is provided to health care providers teaches them to not be judgemental, to be open to the patient’s story and understand them as an individual. “It’s really important in removing all of those stigmas and all of those beliefs which cause a barrier for our people to access that care.”
There have been efforts made to break down the barriers, things like, making space available for family to gather, providing areas where smudging can be done, decorating a hallway with portraits of First Nations Elders so a patient knows others have walked the same path.
The website itself, provides an interactive map which details services and information for people throughout the region. The website can be accessed here.