HealthcarePapers 21(3) July 2023 : 9-23.doi:10.12927/hcpap.2023.27196
Invited Paper

Systemic Anti-Blackness in Healthcare: What the COVID-19 Pandemic Revealed about Anti-Black Racism in Canada

OmiSoore Dryden


Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been numerous examples of how systemic racism and racist stereotypes stigmatized those who contracted and transmitted the virus. This systemic racism predates the pandemic, and is itself endemic in healthcare service, delivery and education as evidenced by the treatment of Black students, residents and doctors. While public health officials, healthcare providers and medical schools may claim to be colour-blind, the documented experiences of Black and Indigenous people and people of colour – particularly those who are queer or trans – demonstrate otherwise. In this paper, the author focuses on the experiences that Black people have in healthcare settings and reflects on what has been revealed during the COVID-19 pandemic, including how systemic historical, contemporary and ongoing anti-Black racism continues to negatively impact health outcomes.



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