Health Canada guilty of 'malpractice' in treatment of Indigenous youth, Charlie Angus says
In the midst of a suicide crisis among Indigenous youth, the federal department responsible for their health care cannot say how many children have sought help and been denied.
NDP MP Charlie Angus calls that "systemic negligence."
"We're losing children every single day and I hear in case after case that funding for mental health services wasn't available or that it was denied," Angus said.
Angus pressed Health Minister Jane Philpott during a parliamentary committee on Nov. 16 to explain how Health Canada keeps track of the needs of First Nations children.
At first Philpott said she understood there was a tracking mechanism for how Health Canada responds to requests for service but then she deferred to a senior Health Canada official to answer the question.
"We don't track denials [of mental health services], because under this program everybody is eligible," Sony Perron said. "The service is coming from private providers. We don't necessarily have a tracking if people have asked for these sessions or have seen the providers. We confirm that we will be covering the cost."
With no formal record of service, Angus said he's left with anecdotal evidence that children are being denied requests for mental health care.
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