Today 23 health regulatory bodies in B.C. declared their commitment to making the health system more culturally safe for First Nations and Aboriginal People. In signing the Declaration of Commitment to Cultural Safety and Humility, BC health professionals are the first in Canada to make the pledge.
Increasing the level of cultural safety in the health care system through approaches such as cultural safety, cultural humility, health literacy and relationship-based care will assist in improving the quality of health services for First Nations and Aboriginal people.
Unfortunately, systemic racism and discrimination towards First Nations people continues to be a major problem in many contemporary health care settings. Systemic racism, which includes personal biases and unintentional stereotyping, leads to inappropriate treatment and barriers to accessing health care.
Signing the Declaration of Commitment reflects the high priority placed on advancing cultural safety and humility for Indigenous people among regulated health professionals by committing to actions and processes which will ultimately embed culturally safe practices within all levels of health professional regulation.
The Declaration commits the 23 regulatory bodies to report on their progress via annual reports outlining strategic activities which demonstrate how they are meeting their commitment to cultural safety. The Declaration also opens the door to formally encouraging all health professionals to complete cultural safety training, such as the San’yas Indigenous Cultural Safety Training offered by the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA).
The signing of the declaration was witnessed by over 230 delegates attending the 2017 Quality Forum ‘Best of Both Worlds’ conference, a forum focused on improving the quality of health care for Indigenous people.
The declaration is endorsed by the First Nations Health Authority and the Ministry of Health and was signed by their representatives and the members of the BC Health Regulators.