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According to research, First Nations patients are more likely to leave the ER without care

McLane says that after controlling for variables such as other patients’ demographics, geography or type of diagnosis, First Nations status was the only clear explanation for the difference.

That conclusion was supported by interviews conducted between 2019 and 2022 with First Nations people who reported being asked stereotypical questions about substance use, hearing racist comments and feeling like they had to wait longer for care than other people.

Although the study was conducted in Alberta, McLane says the findings likely apply to emergency room visits across Canada.

The study was published Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 22.

Canadian Press’ healthcare coverage is supported through a partnership with the Canadian Medical Association. CP is solely responsible for this content.

The Canadian Press