To better support your care, Fraser Health will now be asking all patients about Indigenous identity.
The pilot, a collaboration with the First Nations Health Authority and Métis Nation British Columbia, is the first of its kind in the Fraser Health region.
Patients visiting the emergency department at Chilliwack General Hospital and Fraser Canyon Hospital will be asked if they identify as Indigenous or Aboriginal at the time of registration. This pilot will be expanded to all hospitals across the region this year.
Why is Fraser Health asking about Indigenous identity?
Asking about Indigenous identity supports patients to connect to cultural services. Patients who identify as Indigenous will be provided information to contact Aboriginal Health Liaisons for cultural services.
Aboriginal Health Liaisons can support patients, families and communities in navigating the health care system, ensuring strong advocacy and culturally safe care.
Who is being asked?
All patients coming to the emergency department will be asked if they identify as Indigenous at the time of registration. No assumptions are made as to who is Indigenous or non-Indigenous and the response is completely voluntary. Patients have the right to decline answering without any impact on the quality of the care they receive.
All information collected is completely confidential and protected by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIOPPA).
I am not Indigenous/Aboriginal. Why am I being asked this question?
All patients have the opportunity to identify as having Indigenous ancestry; no assumptions are made as to who is Indigenous and who is not. By self-identifying, Fraser Health can provide culturally informed opportunities to support the health and wellness of Indigenous peoples. Doing so helps Fraser Health achieve its goal to close the gap in health outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.
I don’t feel comfortable answering this question; can I choose not to answer?
Yes. Choosing to self-identify is voluntary. If you don’t wish to provide the information there will be absolutely no impact on the quality of care you receive.
Is asking someone to self-identify discriminatory?
Under the Canadian Human Rights Act, it is not a discriminatory practice to collect information if it is intended to be used to eliminate discrimination of certain groups of individuals..
If I self-identify, how will this affect my care?
People who self-identify as Indigenous or Aboriginal will be given an opportunity to receive Aboriginal Health Services such as Cultural Advisors, or Aboriginal Health Liaison support and/or connection with services offered by First Nations Health Authority or local communities. Your permission will be required prior to contacting external organizations (e.g., FNHA, Métis Nation British Columbia).
What will be done with this information?
When collecting, using, disclosing, accessing or sharing personal health information, the ministry and its staff are governed by legislation, including the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Collecting information on the Aboriginal ancestry of clients and patients will strengthen Fraser Health’s efforts to design and deliver more culturally safe programs and traditional practices into the delivery of health care for First Nations, Inuit and Métis people.