Navigating systemic racism in Canadian healthcare


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5 comments

  1. Christine Brosseau

    I too suffered from systemic racism and medical bias in a Canadian hospital. I was neglected so bad and left in agony so long I had prepared to die at home. I was ill treated twice by the medical system. Now do you think I ever want to seek care again at a hospital no. I would rather take my chances. I’m indigenous

  2. Susan McPherson

    Yes I know. It is the same for women who are older. At least, for some women. I suspect people – women – who are well-placed in the community get better treatment. I believe cultural values play a part in this, as one of the first family doctors who really treated me badly was from southeast Asia. He was just starting out in his practice and I thought that in time his attitude would improve. He knew I lived on my own, and had no husband, and of course, was an older woman. In some countries, the caste system and historical practices such as suttee were used on older women when their husband died, so they died with them on the funeral pyre. What ever his problem, and I suspect it was discrimination on the grounds of age and gender, in time things came to a head. He ended up treating me very badly – as though I was going to abuse the Tylenol 2 (with codeine) that I he was allowing me (originally Tylenol 3 at the beginning of the approximately 2 years he was my gp.). He was determine I was going to get a sample tested every month if I wanted to keep taking Tylenol 2. I decided that would be a bad idea because the jar he gave me to provide a sample in didn’t even have my name on it, and I didn’t want to take the risk of it getting mixed up with someone who actually was a drug addict. I took the case to HRTO but they were so protective of him, and playing mind games with me, and I was so unfamiliar with the way the adjudicatr would behave at the hearing that I gave away any control I had of the situation and he walked away scot free, practically. Meanwhile, a specialist he had referred me to became the next abusive brown doctor, along with his staff, who had presumably known about the previous situation with the family doctor. He was even worse, and even though I had proof that he had discriminated against me, the HRTO let him off, after doing everything they possibly could to stop me.

    I suggest that this idea of “systemic racism” be changed to “systemic discrimination on the grounds of race”. It sounds less aggressive and personal. Saying “systemic sexism” doesn’t work. But the r-words – racism and the other one – are so confrontational at this time. Thank you for the opportunity to tell you another side to this story.

  3. Stephnie Clarke

    These issues were a concern back in the 1980’s and 1990’s. My daughter died at the of 17 at HSC due to a medical error as the inquest that was done came back as an accidental death. HSC did issue me a letter admitting that it was medical error on their part. Back then most of the nurses did not know or understood was Sickle Cell was. Also some of the emergency doctors and surgeons had no idea of the seriousness of this disease. There was also a lack of communication from all levels at the hospital. I was back in the time of Dr Nancy Olivieri the Hematologist. In that inquest there were 31 recommendations which some of them were implemented at the hospital. There were also some changes made at the university and colleges for nurses students in regards to Sickle Cell. It has a been a long journey but maybe I can connect with others and share my story. My daughter name is Sanchia Bulgin. Blessings to all.

  4. Lois Nauta

    Nurses do not give the wrong medications or the wrong dosages. They are bound by a Code of Ethics.

  5. Maureen Smith

    i had two C-section at Woman College and Scrabrough General in Toronto Ontario Canada. I think i was given less drugs. i felt them cutting me open, and when u told them they wanted to say it was in my head. I still have flashbacks. Another instance i had a biopsy done at Scarborough General hospital with them knowing there was nothing in my breast. The Excruciating pain i went through, i could never look are touch that area for months.Thank God the Manfriend help we through the months of Mental Anguish.i still have flashbacks.

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