Poor health care services for remote and northern First Nations reflect government attitude: Hughes

Ottawa – The only way to ensure better health services for northern and remote First Nation communities is to have the government see the current level of service as a problem,  says Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing MP, Carol Hughes.

In an adjournment debate Monday evening Hughes said that the Auditor General’s Spring Report revealed that many remote and northern First Nation communities in Ontario and Manitoba are being done an injustice when it comes to basic health care services.

“The success and well-being of a community is largely dependent on the quality of health care services and how easy it is to access them,” said Hughes. “Unfortunately, for too many remote and northern First Nation communities, the quality and availability of health care services cannot come close to matching those that most Canadians receive”

According to Hughes the government is not doing all it can to ensure these communities have equal access to health care facilities. They are doing the bare minimum: sending under-trained nurses to work in deficient buildings in these remote locations without the resources needed to do that job well.

“If this government really wanted to improve the quality of life for the people in First Nations communities they would provide properly trained nurses and take into account the specific needs of each community when allocating nursing staff levels,” said Hughes.

Hughes says that the Conservative government can brag about balancing the budget all they want, but people need to know what decisions are being made in order to achieve that.

“First Nations lives matter and it is time this government started acting like they do,’ said Hughes. “When is the government going to address the problems with health care services in northern and remote First Nations communities?