Premier John Horgan was quick to condemn the allegations of racist practices in British Columbia’s health care system.
On Friday morning, Minister of Health Adrian Dix addressed “serious” allegations of a racist “game,” which involved care providers guessing the blood alcohol levels of Indigenous patients in emergency rooms.
Dix said that the reported incident occurred at an “emergency room or emergency rooms” and that he was made aware of the allegations last night.
Horgan says the behaviour “degrades the standards and provisions” of health care in the province.
“I am outraged by reports of ugly, anti-Indigenous behaviour at multiple health-care facilities in BC,” he says in a statement. “It cannot stand. There is no excuse. There is no explaining this way.”
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The Premier adds that “no one should fear discrimination when they need help” and that if the incident is confirmed, it displays “a heartbreaking example of systemic racism” in BC.
Former Justice Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to thoroughly investigate the allegations, to which Horgan says he gives “his full support.”
Dix will also be working with Indigenous leaders and leaders in Indigenous health to “ensure that the details of this case will be revealed.”
“This will not be swept aside,” says Horgan. “We will not look the other way when racism is exposed. We will get a full account and changes will be made.”