THE COLLEGE JOINS BC’S HEALTH PROFESSIONS IN PLEDGE TO FIRST NATIONS
On March 1, 2017, the College of Pharmacists of BC was one of 23 BC health professions to pledge their commitment to making our health system more culturally safe for First Nations and Aboriginal People.
Systemic racism and discrimination towards First Nations People continues to be a major problem in many contemporary health care settings, often resulting in inappropriate treatment and barriers to access.
“With [this] commitment, the members of every regulated health profession in B.C. have permission to address prejudice and other problematic behaviours without fear of reprisal. This Declaration will ultimately make the health system safer not only for First Nations and Aboriginal people but for all British Columbians.”
- Joe Gallagher, CEO First Nations Health Authority
The College’s Registrar, Bob Nakagawa, showed the College’s commitment to improving BC pharmacy professionals’ work with First Nations and Aboriginal People by signing the “Declaration of Cultural Safety and Humility in Health Services Delivery for First Nations and Aboriginal Peoples in BC.”
Signing this declaration commits the College and other health regulators to report on progress through annual reports, outlining strategic activities and accountability measures that demonstrate how they are meeting their commitments to cultural safety.
The declaration consists of three main pillars:
- Creating a climate for change
- Engaging and enabling stakeholders
- Implementing and sustaining change
The declaration was originally introduced in July 2015 and signed by the CEOs of each of BC’s Health Authorities as well as the Ministry of Health.
By joining the health authorities in this commitment, health regulators in BC are creating an expectation of change among all health professionals so that all indigenous and aboriginal peoples will experience the culturally safe and effective care they deserve.
Cultural safety and humility are vital for the provision of fair and equal health services, as well as the creation of a healthcare environment free of racism and discrimination, where individuals feel safe and respected.
“Pharmacists are a first point of contact with the healthcare system for many First Nations people. As such, we can each make a real difference in these clients’ experiences by learning about the impacts of colonization, residential schools, systemic racism, discrimination, stereotypes, health inequities and the social determinants of health.”
- Cindy Preston, Health Benefits Pharmacist Lead, First Nations Health Authority
(Improving Pharmacy Services for First Nations Clients by Committing to Cultural Safety and Humility, ReadLinks Guest Post, November 25, 2016)
As one of the most accessible healthcare professions, having BC’s pharmacy professionals acknowledge racism in health care and pledge to work towards improving the quality of health services for First Nations and Aboriginal People is an important step in leading our provincial health system toward a more inclusive future.
Start making the health system more culturally safe
San’yas Indigenous Cultural Safety Course
The College encourages all pharmacy professionals to consider completing the online San’yas Indigenous Cultural Safety course as part of their professional development. Currently less than 2% of all licensed pharmacists in BC have taken the course which is provided by the Provincial Health Services Authority, making this a significant commitment for you and other pharmacists to make.
Cultural Safety and Cultural Humility Webinars
Watch the 12 part Cultural Safety and Cultural Humility Action Series hosted by the First Nations Health Authority and BC Patient Safety & Quality Council. The series will support the development of tools and skills on how to be effective allies for advancing cultural safety and humility and what health service staff and allies can do to understand and integrate this work into their practice or interaction with First Nations and Aboriginal People. Hear from thought leaders such as Joe Gallagher, Dr. Evan Adams, Dr. Nadine Caron, Margo Greenwood, and representatives from each regional health authority in the province.
cultural Humility Portal Health Authority
Learn more about cultural safety and humility and how to improve your practice with the resources available in the First Nations Health Authority Cultural Humility Portal, and pledge your commitment to cultural safety and humility.