Government Negligence Is Relation To First Nation, Inuit, And Metis Health

655 words - 3 pages

There are major debates between the provincial and federal governments about who is responsible for Native health. These lengthy debates cause delay for those who need medical care, and as a result Native health is in a detrimental state. National averages for illness are much higher among the First Nations, Metis, and Inuit communities. While these jurisdictional disputes proceed, illness only get worse. First Nations people desperately want to see that sick individuals are taken care of before these disputes take course. Someone needs to take immediate and full responsibility for Native health.

Statistics show that Native people in Canada have lower health rates than non-Native Canadians. On average, Native people live 7 years less than non-Native people, and their infant mortality rate is 2 to 4 times higher. HIV/AIDS deaths are twice as high, and alcohol related deaths range between 4 and 9 times higher than non-Native Canadians. Diabetes among Native communities has become as epidemic. First Nations, Metis, and Inuit health is increasingly compromised because neither the federal nor the provincial government want to accept responsibility for them. They both point the finger at each other, and the issue is never resolved. This is particularly serious for those who cannot register under The Indian Act, as the federal government says they are not eligible for health benefits. If one of these governments do not take action, Native people will continue to endure poor health.

In relation to section 91(24) of the Constitution Act, provincial officials claim that Native health is a federal responsibility, even though section 92 states that the provincial government is responsible for health care. Federal officials argue that the Canada Health Act assigns the provinces health services to all provincial citizens, including Native people. This conflicting dispute leaves many people waiting for health services. The outdated policies of section 91 and 92 need to be seriously revised, and...

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