Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)

B.C. minister says review launched after stillbirth leads to allegations of racism

KITIMAT, B.C. — British Columbia’s health minister says a review is underway to determine why an Indigenous woman was allegedly turned away from a hospital before giving birth to a stillborn baby.

Adrian Dix says the unidentified woman, whose family is alleging racism in her case, endured a terrible experience last week.

He says the Northern Health Authority will include her relatives in its review involving Kitimat General Hospital and another facility.

Dix says that while he can’t speak specifically about the case due to privacy reasons, he expects those in the health-care system to provide culturally appropriate care to everyone.

He says allegations of racism are taken seriously and any discriminatory or racist behaviour is a violation of the province’s principles, policies and values.

The B.C. government apologized last November after widespread anti-Indigenous racism in the health-care system was revealed in a report by the province’s former representative for children and youth.

Dix acknowledged the report by Mary Ellen Turpel Lafond, saying some steps have been taken to make health care safer and more accessible, but noting there is much more that remains to be done.

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