Health Canada: First Nations Communities Selected to Host Patient Wait Time Guarantees Pilot Projects
OTTAWA, ONTARIO–(Nov. 6, 2007) – The Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Health, today announced the selection of First Nations communities that will undertake pilot projects designed to test Patient Wait Time Guarantees for prenatal care and diabetes. The selection of pilot sites follows through on a commitment the Government of Canada made in November 2006, to develop the first-ever Patient Wait Time Guarantees for federally funded health services in First Nations communities.”I am confident that these guarantees will support improved access to health services for First Nations with diabetes, expectant mothers and their families living in these communities,” said Minister Clement. “This is another example of Canada’s Government working to improve the delivery of health services in First Nations communities and to provide greater certainty they will have access to the care they deserve in a timely fashion,” added Minister Clement.
The pilots will test the provision of prenatal and diabetes care based on defined time frames and clinical practice guidelines. Should those time frames be exceeded, alternative options for care will be offered to patients.
“We were pleased to see that Minister Clement launched the first national patient wait times guarantee initiative in First Nations communities. It is a clear indication that First Nations deserve access to the same quality of health care as other Canadians,” stated National Chief Phil Fontaine, “Our involvement in bringing this opportunity forward to First Nations communities has contributed to getting a diversity of communities interested in obtaining more timely services to those in need.”
Today’s announcement advances the government’s ongoing commitment to ensure timely access to health care, a commitment that was strengthened by the recent agreement of all thirteen provinces and territories to achieve a patient wait time guarantee in priority areas.
Minister Clement also noted the National Paediatric Surgical Wait Times pilot project and the Saint Elizabeth Health Care pilot project, announced earlier this year, stand as examples of the government’s successful, ongoing work toward ensuring that all Canadians receive medically necessary care and treatment within clinically acceptable wait times.
The National Paediatric Surgical Wait Times pilot project encompasses implementation of the first ever pan-Canadian database tool to collect paediatric surgical data. “The database tool has been developed and work is moving forward as planned,” Minister Clement noted.
The Saint Elizabeth Health Care pilot project, in partnership with the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, will establish a wait times guarantee in the area of diabetic foot ulcer care for First Nations people living on reserve in Manitoba. It involves development of a best practice model of care which will be piloted over the project’s second phase, which is expected to begin later in the year.
“Taken with our ongoing progress, today’s announcement represents another important step in improving the health care in First Nations communities,” Minister Clement said.
The list of the names of the First Nations communities selected to host prenatal care and diabetes pilot projects over a two-year period can be found in the attached backgrounder.
Canada’s New Government launches historic first wait times guarantee in First Nations prenatal project – News Release, November 20, 2006.
Canada’s New Government moves toward second wait times guarantee: for First Nations diabetes care – News Release, November 28, 2006.
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First Nations Communities Selected to Host Patient Wait Time Guarantees Pilot Projects
The following communities have been selected to host prenatal care and diabetes pilot projects over a two-year period:
Seabird Island BandNuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council (Ahousaht)Kwakiutl District Council (Campbell River)
Carrier Sekani Family Services (Prince George)
St.Theresa Point First Nation
Cross Lake First Nation
Ebb and Flow First Nation
Lac Simon First Nation
Onion Lake First Nation (Seeskakootch)
Lac La Ronge Indian Band (Kitsaki)
Meadow Lake Tribal Council
Ochapowace Indian Band
Sturgeon Lake First Nation
Mishkeegogamang First Nation (New Osnaburgh)Constance Lake First Nation
Garden River First Nation
Tobique First Nation
Site selection criteria were established by an Implementation Team consisting of officials from the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and from Health Canada’s First Nations and Inuit Health Branch. In March 2007, a call for interest was sent out by Health Canada regional offices and the AFN Provincial Territorial Organizations (PTOs) inviting the participation of interested communities.
The pilot sites represent a mix of urban, rural and remote geography to ensure cross-Canada coverage, in proportion to the interest shown by region.
The pilots will test the provision of prenatal and diabetes care based on time frames defined by clinical practice guidelines. Should those time frames be exceeded, alternative options for care will be offered.
Once these guarantees have been tested, they will be assessed for implementation in additional First Nations communities across the country.
These initiatives are the short-term deliverables within the five areas of mutual interest identified in the Health Canada/Assembly of First Nations Task Group work plan. The Task Group, whose mandate ended on May 31, 2007, is preparing a Final Report to be submitted to the Minister and National Chief in the Fall of 2007.
For more information, please contact
Office of the Honourable Tony Clement
Federal Minister of Health