Coast Salish Territory (Vancouver, BC) – Today the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) marks the official transfer of Health Canada’s First Nations Inuit Health (FNIH) Branch BC Region health services, programs, employees, and resources to the FNHA, a first for Canada. The transfer of health services to the FNHA allows for greater First Nations control over the design and delivery of many of the health programs and services that serve them on a daily basis. Further, this transfer and the tripartite health reform process overall has opened the door for closer collaboration, integration, and innovation with the provincial health system, leading to a more culturally appropriate, safe and effective health system for BC First Nations and all BC residents. Through this transfer, BC First Nations, and federal and provincial governments are a step closer to achieving the vision of ‘Healthy, Self-Determining and Vibrant BC First Nations Children, Families, and Communities’. The FNHA has been working diligently over the last few years to establish the systems, structures, and foundation for its service delivery role. The Transfer includes: • 135 Permanent and 30 Term Health Canada BC Region Staff • 208 Contribution Agreements with First Nations Health Service Providers • 2013/14 Health Canada annual budget of $377.8 million (prorated to $229 million for 2013/2014 mid-year transfer) • Capital resources including Nursing Stations and office space throughout the province The FNHA’s main priority in the short term is to ensure the seamless delivery of health services with no disruption to BC First Nations communities. This will be followed by a gradual redesign of current federal programming to better meet the needs of First Nations children, families, and communities in BC, under their direction. BC First Nations leaders voted to endorse the creation of the FNHA and the transfer of federal health programs in services in 2011 through the 2011 Consensus Paper: BC First Nations Perspectives on a New First Nations Health Governance Arrangement. October 1 signifies the first day of service delivery and the FNHA will be diligently focused on the work at hand, while planning a celebratory engagement for our Gathering Wisdom for a Shared Journey VI event Oct. 22-24 on Coast Salish Territory in downtown Vancouver. Background: For more info on the transfer, transition and transformation, and other essential background documents and much more: Transition and Transformation
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View this Backgrounder as a PDF: BC First Nations Health Authority Marks Historic Transfer of Services from Health Canada
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