B.C. investigates reports of health workers betting on Indigenous patients’ blood alcohol levels

The province is investigating reports of health-care staff playing a racist game betting on the blood alcohol level of mainly Indigenous patients they were treating, according to Health Minister Adrian Dix.

“The allegation is that a game was being played to investigate the blood alcohol level of patients in the emergency rooms, in particular with Indigenous people and perhaps others. And if true, it is intolerable and racist and of course (has) affected profoundly patient care,” Dix told reporters at a news conference in Vancouver on Friday morning.

2:05BMO apologizes for handcuffing of Indigenous grandfather and granddaughter

BMO apologizes for handcuffing of Indigenous grandfather and granddaughter

Former Representative for Children and Youth Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond to lead the investigation that will start Monday, he said.

“She has to access the facts and take the time she needs to assemble those and make recommendations. I obviously believe there is urgency here and that is why we have acted in this way,” Dix said.

READ MORE: BMO apologizes for handcuffing of Indigenous 12-year-old, denies racism a factor

There are no details yet on how widespread the game is, how many nurses and doctors were involved, and where it was taking place.

Dix said he learned of the “abhorrent” allegations the night before, and that no nurses or doctors have been disciplined as of yet.

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Said Daniel Fontaine, chief executive officer for Metis Nation BC, in a statement: “What is allegedly happening in BC hospitals to Métis, First Nations and Inuit peoples is deeply disturbing and must immediately come to an end.”

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