Opinion: Medical advice shouldn’t be different for Indigenous kids – The Globe and Mail

When the COVID-19 pandemic first struck, remote and northern Indigenous communities – which already lacked doctors, properly stocked and supplied health clinics and clean running water – had to scramble. First Nations leaders had to create public-health systems out of thin air. And in Northern Ontario, it seemed like the region was headed into another health crisis that would disproportionately hurt Indigenous people.

Instead, in January, 2021, there was a swift health response, thanks in large part to Nishnawbe Aski Nation leaders, who pulled together a team of physicians, nurses, government officials, and members of the Canadian Armed Forces and the Canadian Rangers to organize or deliver vaccinations to remote fly-in communities. This unprecedented, three-phase effort was called Operation Remote Immunity.

That operation showed us what is possible. As Canadians worked with First Nations to fight COVID-19, traditional silos in medicine crumbled; health care professionals from across the province hopped on planes to communities such as Bearskin Lake and Moose Factory, which they may not have otherwise ventured to or even heard about. They had the opportunity to see, firsthand, the inequitable realities of Canada’s “universal” health care system for First Nations peoples.

Read More: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-medical-advice-shouldnt-be-different-for-indigenous-kids/

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