HSA reaction to Minister of Health Adrian Dix's report of racist actions by health care workers

Val Avery, President of the Health Sciences Association of BC, strongly condemns the racist actions of health care workers reported by Health Minister Adrian Dix this morning.

“I am appalled by the emerging allegations of racist behaviors by health care workers – the very people British Columbians turn to and trust in times of health crisis,” Avery said.

"There is no place for racism in health care - or anywhere.”

“This event serves to remind us that racism exists in every part of our society – this is not an isolated event. It is ingrained, it is systemic, and health care workers are no exception,” she said.

“As a union we welcome the appointment of Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond to investigate the allegations and pledge the full cooperation of Health Sciences Association in her investigation,” she said.

HSA has just completed a survey that explored experiences of discrimination at work by racialized members, and is using that insight for the delivery of anti-racist education for members.

“Education for union members on anti-racism and reconciliation has been a mainstay of the education we offer to union members for years, and I am committed to increasing the availability of training that targets anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism in our sector and our society,” Avery added.

“I also call on Health Authorities and other employers to immediately review the delivery of cultural awareness training for health care workers, and to ensure this education is mandatory,” she added.

“On the eve of National Indigenous People's Day on June 21, we must re-commit to do more to end hatred and racism in our communities,” said Avery. “We are all responsible for playing our part in this critical work.”