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Agreement brings northern B.C.’s Indigenous peoples closer to health-care facilities

The province and the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) are providing temporary housing near medical facilities for those who are travelling from remote communities.

“Many Indigenous communities in remote northern communities aren’t located close to health care, and people may have to travel a long way to access health care, including women travelling to give birth,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, in a news release. “This partnership will make it much easier and more affordable for FHNA clients to attend their medical appointments, especially for long-term medical stays.”

The agreement will reserve temporary housing in existing BC Housing buildings that are close to medical centres in Prince George and Fort St. John for FHNA clients who need to attend medical appointments. Additional locations could be added in the future. All clients in these units will have access to FNHA’s Medical Transportation program, which assists in moving people to and from their community.

“We are all looking forward to supporting families to have healthy and supportive stays when travelling far from home to access health care,” said Richard Jock, interim CEO, FNHA. “The First Nations Health Authority is looking constantly for creative ways to address access to needed medical care in ways that are culturally relevant.”

In the coming months, partners will identify the exact locations and numbers of units that will be reserved for FNHA’s use.

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