Amid court fights, Liberals launch consultations on changes to First Nations health administration

While still fighting Canadian Human Rights Tribunal orders requiring the federal government end control over health care administration for First Nations people, Liberals announce consultations on possible First Nations health legislation.

The Canadian Press with CNC files

OTTAWA —

The federal government will work with Indigenous leaders to co-develop legislation the Minister of Indigenous Services says is aimed at giving First Nations, Metis and Inuit people control over the delivery of health care in their communities.

For several years the Ottawa Liberals have been fighting orders from the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal to end a system of health care administration that requires First National people to receive federal government approval prior to receiving medical services. For non-First Nations people in Canada, a doctor's referral is usually enough to get access to a specialist, who can authorize a provincial health insurance plan to pay for a medically-necessary treatment or surgery.

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller announced the launch of the co-development process Thursday at the conclusion of a two-day virtual meeting on anti-Indigenous racism in Canada's health care system.

The government has previously committed $15.6 million over two years to support the development of Indigenous health care legislation with First Nations, Inuit and Metis partners.

Miller says the aim is to transform health care in Indigenous communities by ensuring Indigenous control over the development and delivery of health services.

He says it will take some time to develop the legislation.

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