Report alleges staff at BC hospitals played game betting on indigenous patients' blood alcohol, denied care.

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Report alleges staff at BC hospitals played game betting on indigenous patients' blood alcohol, denied care.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2020-06-19 11:53pm

https://globalnews.ca/news/7085230/bc-h ... legations/
The province is investigating reports of health-care staff playing a racist game betting on the blood alcohol level of mainly Indigenous patients they were treating, according to Health Minister Adrian Dix.

“The allegation is that a game was being played to investigate the blood alcohol level of patients in the emergency rooms, in particular with Indigenous people and perhaps others. And if true, it is intolerable and racist and of course (has) affected profoundly patient care,” Dix told reporters at a news conference in Vancouver on Friday morning.

Former Representative for Children and Youth Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond to lead the investigation that will start Monday, he said.

Dix said he learned of the “abhorrent” allegations the night before, and that no nurses or doctors have been disciplined as of yet.

There are no details yet on how widespread the game has been, how many nurses and doctors have been involved, and where it’s been happening.

‘Common game’
According to a statement from Métis Nation BC and the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres, a participant in a recent training session on Indigenous cultural safety, offered by the Provincial Health Services Authority, referred to a “common game played within B.C. hospital emergency rooms.”

It was one of “thousands” of cases of racism that participants talked about during the online course, the organizations said. No other details were provided.

First Nations, Métis and Inuit patients seeking emergency care are often assumed to be intoxicated and denied medical assessments, the statement went on.

“There remains a lack of will to address systemic and specific racism towards Métis, First Nation and Inuit people,” said Leslie Varley, executive director of the Aboriginal Friendship Centres group.

“We know that our people avoid hospitals because we are afraid of having a discriminatory encounter. This happens to the point where Indigenous people end up in emergency with extreme diagnosis, like cancer.”

Both organizations are calling on the Ministry of Health to hold a public inquiry into Indigenous-specific racism in the B.C. health-care system, with a focus on hospitals and emergency rooms, and ensure all front-line staff are required to take mandatory cultural training.

“What is allegedly happening in B.C. hospitals to Métis, First Nations and Inuit peoples is deeply disturbing and must immediately come to an end,” said Daniel Fontaine, CEO of Métis Nation BC.

“We remain committed to work with Provincial Health Services Authority to increase Métis-specific content curriculum to increase the knowledge and understanding of healthcare providers.”

Turpel-Lafond, known for her eviscerating reports into the child welfare system when she was the watchdog, said the province has assured her she’ll get full access and tools required for her investigation.

“I will sort those details out next week and make a more complete statement of the scope, focus and timeframe for the work,” she said in a statement.

Premier John Horgan said he is outraged by “reports of ugly, anti-Indigenous, racist behaviour at multiple health-care facilities in B.C.”

“There is no excuse. There is no explaining this away,” he said. “If confirmed, this is a heartbreaking example of systemic racism in our province.”

Cheryl Casimer with the B.C. First Nations Summit said was pleased by the choice of Turpel-Lafond to lead the probe.

But she said the work to dismantle racist stereotypes about Indigenous peoples can’t wait for the investigation’s outcome.

“I don’t think we necessarily have a lot of time to have a systemic overhaul to the healthcare sector in order for indigenous people to be able to go into an emergency room and be treated with respect,” she said.

“A lot of people still think that Indigenous peoples are alcoholics and drunks.”

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip with the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he’d not heard of the game before Friday’s announcement, but that he was not surprised.

“I’m not shocked that this type of systemic racism permeates all of our institution, including government and health,” he said.

“The people who have a very high-level duty of care and were involved in this need to be terminated.”

Leslie Varley, executive director with the B.C. Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres says anti-Indigenous racism in the health-care system is nothing new.

Varley worked with the Provincial Health Services Authority to develop the San’yas Indigenous Cultural Safety Training program for B.C. health-care workers in 2008.

“We received thousands and thousands of examples of this and far worse cases of Indigenous-specific racism in the health care system,” she told CKNW’s Jill Bennett Show.

“So much so that we could see patterns and hot spots of where racism exists and what departments they exist in throughout B.C.”

Varley alleged that despite data being provided to senior officials in the health-care system there was little stomach to address the issue.

Incidents of racism, she said, are lumped in with medical errors and other patient quality care issues in health authority statistics.

Varley said Indigenous patients who are the targets of racism and Indigenous bystanders are also often afraid to speak up.

“It’s not safe for us to speak up for ourselves. We worry that we’re going to get kicked out of the hospital and then nobody is going to look after our health care,” she said.

“So we remain silent.”
Well, looks like some people need to be fired, and hopefully will be.

It puts the province between a rock and a hard place, because addressing this is potentially going to mean firing some staff right while we're bracing for/coping with a second wave, but that's entirely on the assholes who played this "game". Better to have fewer staff than staff who do not provide adequate care, or who have rightfully lost the confidence of the public.
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Re: Report alleges staff at BC hospitals played game betting on indigenous patients' blood alcohol, denied care.

Post by Solauren » 2020-06-26 02:53pm

Tell them if they want to keep their jobs, certification, credentials, etc, then they are now on 6 months of reduced wages. (They're on minimum wage), and all overtime is unpaid, but still mandatory. The money saved from the wage reduction will be donated to causes to support indigenous communities.

They don't like it, then they're fired, and stripped of all certification, etc, and can no longer practice medicine in Canada and possibly other countries.

And if they can find one person that is ultimately behind the game, fire them.
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Re: Report alleges staff at BC hospitals played game betting on indigenous patients' blood alcohol, denied care.

Post by mr friendly guy » 2020-06-26 09:43pm

Hey guys, the guessing the blood alcohol content game has been played for years and applies to everyone, not just indigenous Canadians. At least according to a veteran paramedic.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/indigenous/para ... -1.5629170

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Re: Report alleges staff at BC hospitals played game betting on indigenous patients' blood alcohol, denied care.

Post by Solauren » 2020-06-29 07:41am

After a few days consideration, while this could take the racist element out of this (if it was proven that those involved in the initially reports 'game' bettered on more then just First Nations citizens), it's still highly unprofessional.
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Re: Report alleges staff at BC hospitals played game betting on indigenous patients' blood alcohol, denied care.

Post by Ralin » 2020-06-29 07:57am

Unprofessional, but exactly the sort of thing people in that sort of high pressure profession due to cope. I'd never heard of this particular game before, but I'd be more surprised to hear that something like that didn't go on.

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Re: Report alleges staff at BC hospitals played game betting on indigenous patients' blood alcohol, denied care.

Post by Agent Fisher » 2020-06-29 11:12am

I will chime in that, having worked overnight security in a trauma center ER in Sacramento CA, I have observed nurses, doctors and us security guessing BAC when patients come in who are clearly there for ‘ALOC’ ( altered level of consciousness) reasons. This was always done out of earshot of patients and with no malicious intent, but rather as a way to alleviate tension of working an extremely stressful environment, and to see if ones observation skills of visual clues could match a lab test. This guessing game was done for all races, genders, age ranges.

If this was done just as a game with only one particular group as the ‘contestants’ then yeah, that’s a problem. But don’t be shocked that medical and first responder personnel develop dark and twisted senses of humor to cope with the shit they see everyday.

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Re: Report alleges staff at BC hospitals played game betting on indigenous patients' blood alcohol, denied care.

Post by Solauren » 2020-06-29 10:10pm

So, in come cases, this 'guessing game' was being used as a training tool to help people learn to guestimate intoxication levels to prepare for treatment?
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Re: Report alleges staff at BC hospitals played game betting on indigenous patients' blood alcohol, denied care.

Post by Agent Fisher » 2020-06-29 10:38pm

Every thing in the ER, when it's a intern, or a nurse cutting their teeth on night shift, is a training tool, even joke/games like these. When it's a slammed friday night, you're watching six beds, two of them intoxicated and four serious injuries, it helps to take a look at someone, figure 'Ok, seriously buzzed but not bad just hook 'em with an IV and they should be ok for awhile' vs 'ok, alcohol poisoning, give them the activated charcoal milkshake and a puke bag'. It can save time, which can save lives. ANd as I said, it helps save your sanity. You learn to make jokes of things so that you're making a joke of how drunk the twenty two year old woman is so when the six year old comes in from a traffic collision with two busted arms and is screaming in pain you don't break down in tears. You see some of the absolutely most heart and gut wrenching things in an ER, you find humor and levity where you can.

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Re: Report alleges staff at BC hospitals played game betting on indigenous patients' blood alcohol, denied care.

Post by Ralin » 2020-06-29 10:58pm

It does raise the question of what exactly unprofessional means in this context if we're talking about something professionals in the field frequently do, that doesn't seem to interfere with their duties and is arguably a healthy and necessary coping mechanism for the pressures of the job.

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