TORONTO, Oct. 18, 2016 /CNW/ - Today, I had the opportunity to meet again with representatives from the Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the Métis National Council and the provincial and territorial governments. Their presentations were a powerful reminder of how serious Indigenous health needs are and the collaboration that will be required to improve Indigenous health outcomes.
At our last meeting in January, we began an ongoing dialogue to determine how we can work together to improve Indigenous health and create a system that is more responsive to the needs of Indigenous peoples and the different realities they face.
Since then, our Government has made significant concrete investments in the areas of mental health, improving access to health care for First Nations children, nutrition and other social determinants of health. Our Indigenous partners have also made substantial progress in identifying priority health areas for action.
Today's meeting allowed us to continue our discussions on Indigenous health priorities. First Nations, Inuit and Métis representatives shared what their communities and leaders feel are their most pressing health needs and priority areas for action. In turn, with our provincial and territorial colleagues, we discussed how we can improve the coordination and adaptation of services so that Indigenous peoples can have access to an integrated and culturally safe health system – no matter where they live in Canada.
While a great deal of work has been done, we know much remains to be done. We need to do more to improve relationships and collaboration among federal, provincial, territorial governments, and First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples to address shared priorities. What we heard at today's meeting will help guide future collaboration on both the Health Accord and future federal investments in Indigenous health.
Over time, I believe we can transform our approach and address gaps in Indigenous health outcomes in a proactive, effective and collaborative way. I am confident that by working together we can make meaningful progress to improve the health and well-being of Indigenous individuals, families and communities.
SOURCE Health Canada
For further information: Andrew MacKendrick, Office of Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, (613) 957-0200; Media Relations, Health Canada, (613) 957-2983 ; Public Inquiries: (613) 957-2991, 1-866 225-0709