The Province has responsibility for providing health services to the residents of British Columbia, including Indigenous people living on- and off-reserve. British Columbia is working to transform how the health system serves the Indigenous population in partnership with First Nations and Indigenous health service organizations.
Work is underway to increase culturally safe care in the B.C. health system, signaled by two commitments made by the B.C. Ministry of Health, health authorities and B.C. health regulators:
- The Declaration of Commitment on Cultural Safety and Humility in Health Services (2105) was signed by the five regional health authorities, the Provincial Health Service Authority and the Ministry of Health.
- BC Health Regulators Declaration of Commitment (2017) was signed by the 23 regulatory colleges in B.C.
The federal government has a financial responsibility to support the delivery of some health services to First Nations on-reserve and non-insured health benefits for all status First Nations. In British Columbia, the First Nations Health Authority plans, designs, manages, delivers and funds the delivery of these health services.
The province is guided by the shared vision and commitments set out in the Transformative Change Accord (2005), the Transformative Change Accord: First Nations Health Plan (2006), the First Nations Health Plan Memorandum of Understanding (2006), the Tripartite First Nations Health Plan (2007), the Basis for a Framework Agreement on First Nation Health Governance (2010), the British Columbia Tripartite Framework Agreement on First Nations Health Governance (2011), and the Health Partnerships Accord (2012).
Through these agreements, the B.C. Government has agreed to work with First Nations Health Authority and the Government of Canada to eliminate disparities and inequities in the health status between First Nations in British Columbia and other residents of British Columbia.
As an Indigenous resident of British Columbia, you can access all the services and programs that are available to all British Columbians with your BC CareCard or the new BC Services Card. As well, there are programs and services that are specifically for Indigenous peoples (First Nations, Métis and Inuit) in the province.
Office of Indigenous Health
The Office of Indigenous Health (the Office) aims to improve the health and well-being of Indigenous peoples in BC. The Office provides an Indigenous lens to strategic priorities, legislation, policy and program development in the Ministry of Health, as well as other ministries where appropriate. The Office works collaboratively with the First Nations Health Authority, the regional health authorities, and the Provincial Health Services Authority to address the needs of Indigenous peoples during service planning, policy development and to promote culturally safe and appropriate service delivery. The Office also collaborates with key Indigenous partners and organizations such as Métis Nation BC and the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres.
Basic Medical Coverage for First Nations in B.C.
MSP is the provincial government program that provides basic medical benefits. For example, MSP pays for medically required services of physicians and surgeons. All residents of B.C. are required to enrol with MSP. As of July 1, 2013, the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) will enrol and administer MSP under the B.C. First Nations Tripartite Framework Agreement on First Nation Health Governance.
- Learn about MSP for Registered Indians under the Indian Act