Lu’ma Medical Centre gifted $2M in expansion funding from B.C. health ministry, FNHA

Health Minister Adrian Dix with members of the First Nations Health Authority and the Lu'ma Medical Centre, which is receiving $2 million in funding for expansion projects. Adrian Dix/Twitter

More urban Indigenous people in Vancouver will gain access to health care at a specialized medical centre, thanks to a $2 million expansion funded by the Ministry of Health and the First Nations Health Authority.

The health ministry and FNHA will provide more than $1.8 million in ongoing funding and over $200,000 in one-time funding to Lu’ma Medical Centre.

The government says in a statement the money will be used to expand Indigenous primary-care services at the centre, which will soon be able to hire a dozen additional full-time equivalent health-care professionals.

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That will help the centre serve 1,750 new patients, the ministry says, bringing its total patient count to 2,900.

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Lu’ma, which was founded to address the significant health disparities faced by Indigenous people, is in its third year of operation and provides health and outreach services.

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The centre’s website says it has a four-to-five-week wait-list.

“We provide culturally integrated care through an Indigenous lens, which enables us to take back control of our own health and wellness through self-determination,” said the centre’s clinical director Michael Dumont in a statement.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the expansion will help connect more people to health care when they need it.

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“For people who have been struggling to access culturally appropriate and respectful health-care services, this will make a big difference in their lives, by linking Lu’ma to our current primary health-care strategy.”

According to the ministry, some patients travel to Lu’ma for treatment from as far away as Bella Bella.

—With files from the Canadian Press

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