The AMC Calls on Manitoba to Commit to Providing Comprehensive and Culturally Responsible Competency Training for Newly Recruited Family Physicians

July 26, 2023

Treaty One Territory, Manitoba

AMC Communications

Treaty One Territory, Manitoba – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) urges the province of Manitoba to work in partnership with First Nations leadership to provide comprehensive competency training for family physician recruits. This training is essential to address the existing gaps in healthcare service delivery, particularly for First Nations citizens living in urban, rural, and remote communities.

While the AMC appreciates the provincial government’s efforts to fund an agency to recruit 150 international family physicians, there are concerns that this approach falls short in addressing the existing gap in healthcare services for First Nations. Considering this, the AMC urgently requests an immediate meeting with the Minister of Health to collaborate with First Nations in developing and implementing a comprehensive health and human resources strategy. The strategy’s primary focus will be to nurture and support the growth of First Nations healthcare professionals within the province, including physicians, to address and expand the healthcare workforce needs in Manitoba.

To achieve this goal, the provincial government must commit to making more investments in the overall education system for First Nations and ensure successful recruitment and support of post-secondary First Nations students in health education institutions. By increasing the number of First Nations health professionals in the workforce, we can guarantee equitable, culturally safe, and discrimination-free health services, bringing access to healthcare closer to home for our Nations.

Over the years, First Nations have expressed serious concerns about racial and discriminatory experiences by both international and domestic physicians. Many First Nations have faced biases and prejudices from international physician, leading to a high turnover rate and a broken health system in rural and remote communities. This lack of trust, consistency and equitable access to adequate and culturally responsible healthcare has resulted poorer health outcomes for First Nations citizens.

Once licensed, international physician recruits will be working with First Nations citizens in diverse settings, including urban, rural, and remote areas. The AMC is determined to ensure that this opportunity is pursued in partnership with a comprehensive and holistic health and human resource strategic approach.

Any healthcare strategy introduced by the province must align with the Path to Reconciliation Act, the health-related Calls for Justice from the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and the health-related Calls for Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report.

The AMC is committed to working with the Canadian Health Labs, Doctors Manitoba, and the Ministry of Health to ensure that recruited and licensed physicians possess the necessary qualifications, understanding, and competencies to prevent and address the unique challenges and barriers faced by First Nations in the healthcare system.

The AMC looks forward to constructive dialogue and cooperation with all relevant stakeholders to address the critical gaps in healthcare delivery and improve the overall health and well-being of First Nations communities in Manitoba.

For more information, please contact:

Communications Team
Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs

About the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs

The AMC was formed in 1988 by the Chiefs in Manitoba to advocate on issues that commonly affect First Nations in Manitoba. AMC is an authorized representative of 62 of the 63 First Nations in Manitoba with a total of more than 151,000 First Nation citizens in the province, accounting for approximately 12 percent of the provincial population. AMC represents a diversity of Anishinaabe (Ojibway), Nehetho / Ininew (Cree), Anishininew (Ojibwe-Cree), Denesuline (Dene) and Dakota Oyate (Dakota) peoples.