The remaining sites included the seven harm reduction agencies initially involved, provincial correctional facilities, post-secondary institutions, opioid dependency treatment facilities, community health centres, inner city agencies, AHS pharmacies, First Nations communities with a FNIHB
nurse, and urgent care centres.
At the time of writing, FNIHB's medical transportation policy allows an individual to travel back and forth for up to four months before they are asked to relocate (Health Canada [FNIHB] 2005), with this qualification: "During this time, an assessment will be conducted involving the treating physician, other relevant health professional(s) and the client to determine the provision of further benefits, taking into consideration the client's medical condition" (Health Canada [FNIHB] 2005).
One provider commented on the diminished flexibility in policy limiting the capacity of FNIHB staff to argue for extension of support for living expenses:
But unfortunately you do have the other side of the coin involving FNIHB and the issues and limitations that they put forward to First Nations, which do affect health care and do have a direct impact on the things we can and cannot do out here on the reserve.
White said the quality of care that can be provided at his clinic has been compromised by FNIHB policy decisions and funding cuts.
As First Nations, we are constantly reminded by FNIHB staff that we [must] use resources for the exact purposes they are allocated for," he wrote.
"The government of Canada seems to hear it when the provinces get up and raise hell about health funding but there's this refusal to hear when First Nations say FNIHB is underfunded," he said.
They also say they're under pressure from FNIHB to sign up by the end of March or face a loss of funding or the imposition of third party management on their health care facilities.
So far, FNIHB has refused to look at that form, instead insisting that their form is required for all First Nations.
* Membership of Joint Working Group during the time that this statement was prepared: Alexander Allen (CPSS), Tracy Brown (ITK), Kim Bulger (MNC), Claudette Dumont-Smith (NWAC), Deshayne Fell (CPSS), Selma Ford (ITK), Marie-France Germain (SC), Bob Imrie (ITK), Karen Lawford (NWAC), Cassandra Lei (FNIHB
), Juan Andres Leon (CPSS); John David Martin (FNIHB
), Patricia O'Campo (CPSS), Arne Ohlsson (CPSS), Louise Pelletier (CPSS), Jennifer Pennock (FNIHB
), Reg Sauve (CPSS), Heather Tait (ITK), Barbara Van Haute (MNC), Ghislaine Villeneuve (VSCC, SC), Russell Wilkins (SC), Erin Wolski (NWAC)
On the recommendation of the Task Force, FNIHB implemented a systematic mercury biomonitoring program among First Nations and Inuit in the early 1970s.
To identify "at risk" individuals and provide appropriate preventive action, FNIHB established a set of biomonitoring guidance values applicable to the general population of high fish consumers (e.g., First Nations and Inuit).