Advertisement

Anonymous voices on podcast reveal racism towards Indigenous patients at Kingston-area hospitals

Click to play video: 'An anonymous report and podcast allege that Indigenous patients were mistreated at Kingston-area hospitals' An anonymous report and podcast allege that Indigenous patients were mistreated at Kingston-area hospitals
WATCH: A podcast and report explore the relationship between colonialism and medical racism towards Indigenous people. Anonymous voices allege that they were mistreated at Kingston-area hospitals for being Indigenous – Jul 9, 2021

Accusations of mistreatment of Indigenous patients at Kingston General Hospital and Hotel Dieu have come to light.

The findings come in the form of a report, and a podcast made up of anonymous voices put together by a local student, and a nonprofit organization.

“I asked if I can have some medication for the pain. Her first response was to deny me because of addiction issues. She asked me ‘how much do you drink? are you a drug user?'”

That’s one anonymous account from an Indigenous trans person, voiced by a volunteer. They say they went to a Kingston area hospital for pain after slipping on ice in the winter, but their pain was disregarded.

Read more: Systemic racism in Canada’s health care and how it affects vaccine rollout

Story continues below advertisement

“When people disclose experiences of racism, often there’s retaliation, so it was really important to protect the identities of the people participating and sharing their stories in the research,” said Susan Delisle, author of the report and podcast organizer.

The report explores the relationship between colonialism and medical racism towards Indigenous People. Delisle says the idea for the “Be Heard” project came about a year ago, and she was able to put the voices together with support from the school and the non-profit organization “Unique Get Together Society.”

Other patients say when they shared they were in pain and needed medication, health-care workers assumed the patients had ulterior motives such as using the drugs for recreational purposes, or even to sell.

“To white nurses, being Native means you look like a drug addict. I’ve had the accusations leveled at me when I’ve been in for broken bones. If you go to the hospital in pain they’re going to ignore you because they think you’re a drug addict,” said another anonymous speaker apart of the podcast.

Click to play video: 'Ottawa adopts Joyce’s Principle to guarantee health care access without discrimination' Ottawa adopts Joyce’s Principle to guarantee health care access without discrimination
Ottawa adopts Joyce’s Principle to guarantee health care access without discrimination – Feb 10, 2021

While no specific staff members were named, the podcast says the experiences happened at both Hotel Dieu and Kingston General Hospital.
Kingston Health Sciences Centre’s (KHSC) vice-president of mission, strategy, and support services is looking into the report.

Story continues below advertisement

“We always know we have room to improve how we provide care and patient feedback is one of the best ways that we learn about people’s actual experiences.
It’s why we have patient advisors who work with us and partner with us on the work that we do, it’s why we have a patient relations program,” said Elizabeth Bardon.

Read more: Canadian health care isn’t immune to racism, experts say. Here’s why

“Obviously the primary goal is to see real change,” said Delisle, when asked what the report aims to do.

Bardon says that anytime a patient reveals that their treatment didn’t meet their expectations or the hospital’s expectations, it’s concerning. KHSC and Delisle are set to meet to further discuss the report and its findings.

The full podcast is available on YouTube, on the “Be Heard Project’s” channel.

Advertisement

Sponsored content