The Canadian Constitution determines how the health care system in Canada operates. There are divisions in place among the territorial, provincial, and federal governments. This means different priorities for health care and different budgets to adhere to for services. Under the Canada Health Act, there are federal standards in place to oversee programs and spending at the other two levels.
Indigenous people residing in Canada face complexities when it comes to their health care. This is because the jurisdiction where they reside may fall into a territorial, provincial, or federal area. This means the policies and coverage will vary depending on where a person is located. When they move from one area to the next, it may be a shock to discover changes to their health care coverage.
There are funds specifically allocated for the needs of Indigenous people residing in Canada. They are offered from Indigenous Services Canada. They have various community programs available. For example, the Inuit Nunangat area has specific funds available to the Inuit people residing in that community. Some of the funds are allocated to cover health care needs not covered by any other source for Indigenous individuals.
Indigenous people are regarded as an important population in Canada. Preserving their culture and traditions is important. However, many of them don’t seek proper medical care because they are engaging in the healing practices of their culture. This can be dangerous as the longer a health problem is untreated the more difficult it is to find the ideal solution.
Efforts are in place to reduce such situations through educating Indigenous people and encouraging them to go in for routine check-ups. Offering health services that are easy to access and their health care covers has to be addressed on all levels of politics that govern Canada. Boards that represent these policies need to listen to the unmet needs of the Indigenous people and those that represent them. This is the only way positive change can be encouraged.
It is important for Indigenous people in Canada to understand the health care coverage they have. It is important for them to get the services they need. This can be a challenge as the coverage doesn’t always match the needs. There are advocates working to change this and trying to get more help through Indigenous government programs. The goal is to clearly share coverage and to offer a place where questions can be answered.
One of the ways to encourage proper care is to through giving more power to the entities where the Indigenous people reside. When they can find the health care they need within their community and they have adequate coverage, they tend to take care of their health. This has been proven through the pilot program with the Inuit in the 1988 Health Transfer Policy. The complexity of the health care systems and the ongoing changes though can make it a hard path to work your way through. More resources to guide and assist Indigenous people with their health care are still necessary, but seems to be moving in the right direction