The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) recognizes that systemic racism and structural inequities exist within the health system and society. We have a collective responsibility to change this, now more than ever. We must take action and work alongside marginalized and racialized communities to achieve a better tomorrow.
On National Indigenous Peoples Day, we pause and reflect on the perspectives Indigenous leaders have shared with us at the CMA in recent years. They speak of building a health care system that is culturally safe and trustworthy; where we recognize the need to and will do better; and where we treat each other and our patients with respect. They remind us of the inequities that exist and call for action to ensure good health is within reach for all. They remind us of the need to be open and to be prepared to be uncomfortable with the truth in order to truly advance reconciliation with First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada. I invite you to listen to their words here.
As a medical profession, we must uphold the principles espoused in our Code of Ethics, and this includes making a commitment to “collaborative and respectful relationships with Indigenous patients and communities through efforts to understand and implement the recommendations relevant to health care made in the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.”
The time to effect change is now.
Dr. Sandy Buchman, CMA President