Cultural Safety and Humility

BC Health Regulators (BCHR) support every patient’s right to receive the same access to and quality of care, regardless of their race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, religion, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and age. We know that racist and discriminatory behaviours and structures in the health-care system create inequities that can harm patient health and well-being.

As part of our duty to protect the public, each BCHR college has well-established processes to investigate complaints about the conduct or competence of registrants, including complaints of racism, that impact patient care and safety. Complaints may be made by members of the public or regulated health professionals.

Indigenous-specific racism

We especially acknowledge the harmful impacts of racism directed towards Indigenous peoples. This includes bias shown by individual health care professionals, as well as health system structures and practices that disadvantage Indigenous peoples.

Dr. Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond’s 2020 report, In Plain Sight​, provided evidence of widespread fear and mistrust of BC’s health-care system due to the prevalence of stereotypes, discrimination, racism and abuse experienced by Indigenous peoples. The report’s findings illustrated how our current health-care system continues to limit access to medical treatment and negatively affects the health and wellness of Indigenous peoples—and that Indigenous women and girls are disproportionately impacted.

Individual colleges are currently working to implement the In Plain Sight report’s recommendations within their own organizations.

BCHR cultural safety initiatives

Collectively, BCHR members are committed to working with partners on shared initiatives that will support all regulated health professionals in delivering care with a greater focus on Cultural Safety and Humility. Our work to date includes:

We recognize that learning more about Cultural Safety and Humility, and using this knowledge to change practice, is an ongoing journey. We are grateful for our partnerships with the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) and other organizations, which are supporting our efforts by sharing resources, providing educational opportunities and offering counsel.