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Healthcare Advocate needed for First Nations
First Nations people are falling through the cracks in the healthcare system and being denied proper care, and according to FSIN Vice Chief Dutch Lerat, a Health Advocacy Office will ensure better treatment.
The death of a 5-month-old baby boy in a Saskatchewan hospital in April 2009 brings about the concerns of FSIN Chiefs. However, it was after the coroner's report was released in December that Chief Lerat responded to what he sees are the inadequacies of the healthcare system.
"An advocacy office will help identify the cracks in the system and find solutions to the problems," said Chief Lerat. "(Ensuring that) both Federal and Provincial governments are committed to health care that puts patients and family first."
He pointed to the Patient First Review report that made several recommendations to improve the health of First Nations people, including helping them to navigate the health system and advocating for better care.
"The recommendations from the Patients First Review are not binding and have yet to be implemented. The Province has to act on this report," Chief Lerat said.
In June of last year, Saskatchewan chiefs moved to authorize FSIN to move forward with plans for a Health Advocacy Office. Chief Lerat said he anticipates it will be built on the model and successes of the FSIN Special Investigations Unit that handles police complaints and general human rights grievances.
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