The British Columbia (BC) government announced a $440 million, 10-year cancer action plan, on Friday, February 24.
The investment will be used to expand cancer-care teams, research, and service hours across BC, as well as introduce new payment structures to attract and retain medical professionals, increase Indigenous patient support positions, and support patients who must travel for care from rural communities.
The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) has recently launched a province-wide cancer screening campaign in partnership with BC Cancer. The purpose of the campaign is to increase awareness about screening services available and to discuss cancer screening as a regular part of the health and wellness journey. This is central to the campaign with the slogans: honour yourself, honour your family, honour your community, and honour your ancestors. To learn more about the FNHA’s cancer campaign visit FNHA.ca/Cancer.
The new 10-year cancer plan cites the FNHA’s and other Indigenous organizations’ work toward improving the access and quality of care for Indigenous people across BC as key components to the plan’s success. The plan aligns with recommendations made in the In Plain Sight: Addressing Indigenous-specific Racism and Discrimination in B.C. Health Care report, and the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.
Several highlights from the plan include:
Dr. Nel Wieman, Chief Medical Officer at FNHA stated, “The new cancer action plan is a hopeful step towards improving cancer care for First Nations people across BC. Access to culturally safe care is a significant barrier for many First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people. The recognition that the FNHA’s and other Indigenous organizations’ cancer initiatives are integral to the plan, as well as incorporating the learnings from the In Plain Sight report is a significant step in addressing the cancer trends that affect First Nations people living in BC. Providing support for medical travel from rural communities and increasing Indigenous patient support are actionable ways that we can continue to work towards providing accessible and safe cancer care.”
To learn more about the FNHA’s cancer campaign visit FNHA.ca/Cancer.
Read more about the 10-year plan here.