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Published by the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation

Ottawa confirms Jordan’s Principle of equal care for First Nations children

Posted: 05/11/16 8:28am CST

The federal government has delivered a response to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal agreeing to address gaps in the application of Jordan’s Principle without delay — the rule adopted by the House of Commons in 2007 ensuring equal health care access for First Nations children.

On April 26, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal gave the Department of Indigenous Affairs two weeks to respond to an order to implement the principle immediately and broadly. By responding today, the federal government met the imposed deadline.

Today’s written response to the tribunal includes two key measures to reach that goal.

The first states that when working out who will pay for a given treatment, disputes between different federal departments over which will pay for care will be resolved after the patient has been treated.

Traditionally, there has been confusion over which level of government should pay to treat First Nations children. While health care is provided by the province, Indigenous peoples are a federal responsibility.

The crux of Jordan’s Principle is that when a patient needs medical treatment, that treatment should be provided immediately and any issues over which level of government should pay for that treatment must be resolved after the patient has been taken care of.

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