Saskatoon-Meewasin MLA and Saskatoon doctor Ryan Meili says more work needs to be done to address the health gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.
Speaking at an FSIN Health Summit in Saskatoon, Meili says in his time as a doctor, he sees First Nations patients who have been dealing with poverty and generations of struggle long enough that simple medication won’t help.
He recounted attending the funeral of one of his patients, a 24-year-old woman, on a First Nation north of Prince Albert.
Meili says he had given the woman medication for HIV, but says social issues, like poverty, put the woman in the position she was in.
Meili suggests introducing a Health in All policy approach, considering the quality of health when looking at changes to education, governance and within other ministries.
Meili adds that the treaty right to health shouldn’t just focus on Indigenous peoples — but on everyone’s right to be provided with the best possible health care.
(With files from CJWW)