December 3, 2020

CNPBC Statement on the release of Dr. Turpel-Lafond’s report

The College acknowledges and welcomes the report by Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond (Aki-Kwe), the culmination of a months-long investigation into wide-spread racism in BC’s healthcare system. Turpel-Lafond, a former judge, collected and assessed the experiences of Indigenous, Metis and Inuit people. Eighty-four per cent of respondents who had accessed healthcare reported some form of discrimination, prejudice, and racism.
Titled In Plain Sight: Addressing Indigenous-specific Racism and Discrimination in B.C. Health Care , the comprehensive report outlines findings and puts forward 24 recommendations including improving accountability, legislative changes, and an improved complaint process.
“It’s critical that all Indigenous people feel safe when getting health care,” said Turpel-Lafond.
“Racism is toxic for people and it is toxic for care. I want to make an unequivocal apology as the Minister of Health to those who have experienced racism in accessing healthcare services now and in the past,” added Minister of Health Adrian Dix.
The College is committed to working with the Ministry of Health and other partners to consider the recommendations and take action to eliminate Indigenous-specific racism, systemic racism, and prejudice. We support a system that provides culturally safe care and ensures that Indigenous residents from across the province can access and receive healthcare services without discrimination.
In 2017, CNPBC along with 22 other BC health regulators signed the Declaration of Commitment – Cultural Safety and Humility in the Regulation of Health Professionals. Since then, we have been committed to advancing the integration of cultural safety and humility within our profession.
These recommendations do signal progress, but much more is needed to ensure that Indigenous people consistently receive qualified, safe, and ethical care from all health professionals. We encourage all naturopathic doctors registered with the College, and all BC health professionals, to review the report.

Howard Greenstein, B.Sc., M.A., M.B.A.
Registrar and CEO