Indigenous Kids Needing Dental Work Were Turned Away – The Tyee

Their care should have been covered. Instead, says their father, the receptionist at the Vancouver clinic demanded cash.

A Vancouver single father says he and his three First Nations sons faced discrimination at a non-profit dental clinic serving Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside neighbourhood.

Despite all three boys having years of medical history at Strathcona Community Dental on Keefer Street, Ajantha (Sam) Dharmapala says the receptionist refused their First Nations status cards for coverage or to serve him unless he paid in cash.

The receptionist did not seek help from another staff member and said Dharmapala would not be able make appointments for the boys unless he agreed to pay for them in cash, he recalls.

“I tried to explain things to her very kindly, but she very rudely told me not to come back to this place without money,” said Dharmapala in an Aug. 24 Facebook post.

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