Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in Coast Salish territory Friday, April 14, to jointly announce the renewal of the 10-year funding agreement with the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA), worth $8.2 billion.
The funding will support the FNHA in its ongoing vision to foster healthy, self-determining and vibrant British Columbia (BC) First Nations children, families and communities.
“This new 10-year funding agreement will allow the FNHA to continue the important work toward creating a culturally safe health care system for First Nations people in BC,” said Richard Jock, Chief Executive Officer for the FNHA. “Funds to address existing disparities and inequities will be discussed and aligned with our communities in partnership with federal, provincial and other health agencies. FNHA will continue to work together on health system innovations, and through the delivery of new or redesigned health and wellness programs that support the unique needs of First Nations people and their communities.”
“Today’s announcement of a new 10-year federal funding agreement speaks to the strong partnerships between the FNHA, federal and provincial government, local health authorities and other health care providers,” said Colleen Erickson, Board Chair for the FNHA. “It is testament to the shared understanding of the many disparities in the current health care system that contribute to gaps in health outcomes for Indigenous people. I lift my hands and acknowledge all those who continue to work toward building a safer and more accessible health care system for First Nations in BC.”
The FNHA signed its first 10-year agreement with Canada when it took over responsibility from Health Canada in 2013 for the delivery of health care to First Nations people in BC. This renewed 10-year agreement will allow the FNHA to not only continue its important work, but also develop new and innovative supports for mental health and wellness, measure and report the social determinants of health, and ensure increased access for First Nations to culturally safe care across the spectrum of health services in BC.
The funding is in addition to the 10-year, $2 billion Indigenous Health Equity Fund previously announced by Canada in March to better support First Nations, Inuit, and Métis across the country in addressing gaps and systemic inequities in health care services.
To find out more about how the FNHA intends to direct funding into programs and services, you can refer to our multi-year health and wellness plan, Paddling Together. The plan affirms the FNHA’s goals, outcome statements, objectives, and strategies, as well as a set of specific priorities for the coming year. We are currently in year two of our five-year plan, which includes health and capital planning.
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