Aboriginal children suffer as governments shuffle files: report

A study suggests that aboriginal children often get poorer health care than other kids because of disputes between governments about who pays the bill.

A study suggests that aboriginal children often get poorer health care than other kids because of disputes between governments about who pays the bill.

Vanda Sinha of McGill University says it’s hard to put numbers on the problem because nobody is tracking it.

But she says a survey of front-line workers turned up plenty of stories about children suffering as their files are shuffled between federal, provincial and First Nations governments.

Sinha says the federal government has told the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal that such bottlenecks don’t exist — or, if they do, they aren’t Ottawa’s problem.

She says Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservatives are trying to solve the problem by defining it so narrowly it disappears.

The study was done by the Assembly of First Nations, the Canadian Paedeatric Society and several universities.

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