- Category: news
- Created: Tuesday, 29 October 2013 14:46
- Published: Tuesday, 29 October 2013 14:46
- Written by Administrator 3
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By Jonathon Brown
Prince George, B.C.
Physicians in rural areas of BC's north are getting special training delivering better care to First Nations and Aboriginal patients.
The "Indigenous Cultural Competency program" offers training online for physicians to provide a more appropriate style of care. Aboriginal Health Director Leslie Varley with the Provincial Health Services Authority hopes the cultural awareness program will alleviate the stigma of racism she says many First Nations encounter when they seek medical attention.
"There's a high level of distrust among Aboriginal people and health-care providers," Varley says. "Also, a very high level of racism and stereotyping from the health-care system."
She says physicians' attitudes prompted the program to change the way First Nations and Aboriginal patients receive care.
"It's very common for health care providers to make an assumption, for example, that Aboriginal people are drunk, when they might be experiencing diabetes," she says.
She says the training doesn't speak to First Nations' cultures, specifically, allowing for each community to take that element on, themselves.
"We talk about the history, we talk about why Aboriginal people don't seek medical attention with the health-care system, and what led up to that," she says.
"But we leave it up to first Nations' communities, and Metis communities to talk about their culture."
The program was created by the Provincial Health Services Authority.
The provincial government, along with the BC Medical Association committee is granting $100,000 in funds to allow physician access to training.