Improving health care access in communities and reducing inequities in health care
WUNNUMIN LAKE, ON, June 28, 2017 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, met with community leaders in Wunnumin Lake First Nation. During this meeting, she announced funding for two initiatives – $500,000 for the planning of a new health facility and $465,000 for Wunnumin Lake's Choose Life Project. As a Government, we are committed to a renewed relationship with Indigenous peoples, and to working with them on priorities that are important to them, including health. We have made significant investments in health, education, housing, drinking water, languages and culture to advance reconciliation.
The health facility planning investment is the first step to addressing the health infrastructure needs of the community and providing better quality health care. Wunnumin Lake First Nation is one of three remote communities in Northern Ontario whose nursing services are managed by the community but funded by Health Canada. This approach allows greater flexibility for the community to design and deliver services tailored to its specific needs.
The Government of Canada is also investing $465,000 to support Wunnumin Lake's Choose Life Project, an initiative to help decrease the community's suicide risk factors.
Choose Life is a two-year project designed to expedite access to mental health services and supports. The project is geared to First Nations children and youth in Nishnawbe Aski Nation communities who are at risk of suicide. The goal is to implement a simplified process to access funding for mental health services under the Jordan's Principle Child-First Initiative.
- Investment for health facility planning is part of the Budget 2016 investments through the Social Infrastructure Fund (SIF) for addressing the health infrastructure needs of First Nations communities. The funding supports the construction, renovation and repair of health facilities, treatment centres, and residences for health care workers on reserve.
- The Government is supporting 41 Social Infrastructure Fund projects across the country.
- Jordan's Principle can include mental health supports, speech therapy, addiction treatment, educational supports, and more. If a First Nations child is not receiving the services and supports he or she needs, families are encouraged to contact us at 1‑800‑567-9604.
"This is another example our commitment to work with First Nations leaders and community members across Canada to improve health outcomes in their communities. Today's funding in Wunnumin Lake is an important step. Through this investment, we will support the community to plan concrete, sustainable solutions that respond to needs they have identified."
The Honourable Jane Philpott
Minister of Health
"I am very happy to get funding for our nursing station. It's been a long wait. Now my staff will have more space for much-needed equipment, such as a dialysis machine -- the greatest need up North"
Chief Rod Winnepetonga
Wunnumin Lake First Nation
Nishnawbe Aski Nation
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