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Human rights commission looking to address anti-Indigenous discrimination in healthcare

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The commission will detail the result of the survey in a report. 

Racism in Indigenous healthcare in Canada

Anti-Indigenous discrimination and racism in the healthcare system is a key determinant of poor Indigenous health outcomes, leading to very serious, and sometimes lethal, consequences, such as the tragic experiences of Brian Sinclair, Joyce Echaquan, Brent Sky and Helen Winterstein, noted the commission.

As of 2013, life expectancy for Indigenous people remained about 10 years lower than the non-Indigenous population (71 years compared to 81 years in 2004 and 82 years in 2013), noted the commission.

Also, rates of chronic conditions are significantly higher in First Nation, Inuit, and Métis populations than in the general Ontario population: 63% of First Nations people off-reserve and 61% of Métis suffer from one or more chronic conditions, compared to 47% of the non-Indigenous population.

Collectively, experiences of racism and discriminatory treatment from healthcare professionals have led to a lack of trust in, and unwillingness to access, health services and has caused Indigenous people to delay or avoid seeking timely essential care, according to participants at the OHRC’s 2018 Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights dialogue.

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