Province Seeks Comments on Racism and Discrimination in Health Care
The province is asking various groups to share their experiences to improve Nova Scotia’s health care system.
The Department of Health and Wellness and health system partners have launched an online survey to gather feedback from communities who may have experienced systemic racism and discrimination in the health system. This includes Indigenous peoples, African Nova Scotians and people of African descent, racialized groups, 2SLGBTIQA+ people, people with disabilities, immigrants, refugees and historically underrepresented populations.
“We know that all Nova Scotians should receive the same quality of health care, but we also know that is not the case. Systemic racism and discrimination impact the care people receive,” said Brian Comer, Minister Responsible for the Office of Addictions and Mental Health, on behalf of Health and Wellness Minister Michelle Thompson. . “We need to learn more about the experiences of people from diverse communities in our healthcare system in order to make the changes needed to provide better care.
The survey can be found at https://www.engage4health.ca/dhw-health-equity-framework and will be open until January 27.
Information from the survey will be used to develop a health equity framework to help improve the system, both for the various groups who use it and for staff.
The province has begun contacting representatives from various communities to encourage people to complete the survey.
The Health Equity Framework is a critical component of work to improve health experiences and health outcomes for diverse communities and create a healthier, safer, and more equitable work experience for team members.
Anna Marenick, People’s Vice President, Culture and belonging, Nova Scotia Health
Our students have not only been patients of the healthcare system, but they are also pursuing careers within that same system. We are keenly aware of the changes needed for patients and their families who have experienced a healthcare system marked by systemic discrimination and racism, but also the challenges of discrimination and racism that healthcare professionals in groups seeking equity have faced at work.
Timi Idris, Program manager, Promoting Health Leadership for African Nova Scotians (PLANS), Dalhousie University
Racism, discrimination and prejudice have no place in health care or in our workplaces. We have a duty to ensure that health care is accessible, welcoming and inclusive for all. We are committed to listening and developing a framework with our community that will lead to real change.
Steve Ashton, vice president, Development of people and organizations, IWK Health Center
- the province has committed to creating a health equity framework as part of Action for Health, the government’s strategic plan to improve health care in Nova Scotia
- the framework is expected to be completed by July 2023
- in October, the province announced Project Fair Care, which gives Nova Scotians the option to provide race and language information when renewing their health card (MSI) to help make the health care system more equitable and adapted to the health needs of communities