Health ministers set for meetings in Edmonton on Indigenous health, opioids – Edmonton Journal

October 17, 2017

Indigenous health, opioids and medical assistance in dying will be the major topics on the agenda later this week as Alberta Health Minister Sarah Hoffman hosts her counterparts from around the country.

Two days of meetings are set for Thursday and Friday at the Federal Building on the legislature grounds. New federal Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor is scheduled to join the provincial and territorial ministers on the final day.

Hoffman characterized the get-together as a “business as usual” event. She said the discussions will move away from the fractious health accord negotiations that dominated the last two years and will instead focus on the patient outcomes expected from new federal investments in mental health and home care.

National Indigenous leaders are expected to meet with the ministers Friday, while Hoffman said she plans to sit down with local leaders the day before. Health issues have been a major concern for Indigenous communities, many of which have been struggling with high rates of chronic disease, substance abuse, poor drinking water and lack of access to health services.

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