- Programs and Services
A new report by the Health Council of Canada says that governments must make a greater effort to collaborate to improve health care for First Nations, Inuit, and M¨¦tis seniors. The report, Canada¡¯s most vulnerable: Improving health care for First Nations, Inuit, and M¨¦tis seniors, shows they often do not receive the same level of health care as non-Aboriginal Canadians because of poor communication, collaboration, and disputes between governments about who is responsible for the care of Aboriginal people.
The M¨¦tis Nation of Ontario (MNO) contributed the following passage to the report:
One third of all Aboriginal people in Canada are M¨¦tis, a fact few people in Canada realize. The M¨¦tis population is also an older population compared to other Aboriginal groups. Our research has shown that many M¨¦tis seniors are experiencing significantly higher rates of chronic disease and other complex conditions compared to non-M¨¦tis Ontarians. There are also unique barriers to M¨¦tis seniors receiving the care and support they require. For example, M¨¦tis people fall under a different legislative and regulatory structure than do other Aboriginal groups and do not have access to programming supports such as the Non-Insured Health Benefits available to many Aboriginal peoples. ? Many M¨¦tis seniors also live in remote and rural areas, where access to services and supports can be limited. For M¨¦tis seniors with limited incomes, things like transportation to see doctors and specialists, and having the means to fill expensive prescriptions, can also serve as barriers to care.? Finally, access to culturally safe care can be a challenge for older M¨¦tis citizens.
It is for all these reasons and more that the M¨¦tis Nation of Ontario (MNO) provides programs and services at the community level. Situated in 18 M¨¦tis communities distributed across the province, and based on a wholistic, family-centred model of care which is firmly rooted in M¨¦tis culture and way of life, MNO community centres serve as important cultural and service hubs that link our M¨¦tis citizens to each other, and to essential health services and supports in their local areas. The MNO community centres are especially important in providing our M¨¦tis seniors with the kinds of culturally grounded services and supports they need, along with help in accessing medical services. Some of our MNO centres also offer specialist services such as foot care clinics for seniors and other M¨¦tis people suffering from diabetes. MNO community centre workers do much in the way of outreach to M¨¦tis seniors in need of assistance, visiting their homes to help with things like meal preparation, house maintenance, and other tasks of daily living, while at the same time providing that important cultural connection and support. Through the MNO Community Support Services program we are also able to provide transportation services to help M¨¦tis seniors travel to and from their medical appointments.
For the many M¨¦tis seniors who are suffering from significantly higher rates of chronic diseases and other conditions, MNO community centres provide a place where they can meet with other M¨¦tis community members and receive much-needed support and care, and get help in linking to essential services and programs within the broader community. The centres also provide a haven for culturally safe community care,?essential to the well-being of all our M¨¦tis citizens.See ALL news articles