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Review

Barriers and Mitigating Strategies to Healthcare Access in Indigenous Communities of Canada: A Narrative Review

1
Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutritional Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2E1, Canada
2
School of Public Health, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 1K4, Canada
3
Population, Public and Indigenous Health Strategic Clinical Network, Alberta Health Services, Calgary, AB T2W 1S7, Canada
4
Department of Physiology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2H7, Canada
5
Diabetes, Obesity and Nutrition Strategic Clinical Network, Alberta Health Services, Edmonton, AB, T2W 1S7, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to the work.
Healthcare 2020, 8(2), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8020112
Received: 10 March 2020 / Revised: 20 April 2020 / Accepted: 22 April 2020 / Published: 26 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Health Policy)
The objective of this review is to document contemporary barriers to accessing healthcare faced by Indigenous people of Canada and approaches taken to mitigate these concerns. A narrative review of the literature was conducted. Barriers to healthcare access and mitigating strategies were aligned into three categories: proximal, intermediate, and distal barriers. Proximal barriers include geography, education attainment, and negative bias among healthcare professionals resulting in a lack of or inadequate immediate care in Indigenous communities. Intermediate barriers comprise of employment and income inequities and health education systems that are not accessible to Indigenous people. Distal barriers include colonialism, racism and social exclusion, resulting in limited involvement of Indigenous people in policy making and planning to address community healthcare needs. Several mitigation strategies initiated across Canada to address the inequitable health concerns include allocation of financial support for infrastructure development in Indigenous communities, increases in Indigenous education and employment, development of culturally sensitive education and medical systems and involvement of Indigenous communities and elders in the policy-making system. Indigenous people in Canada face systemic/policy barriers to equitable healthcare access. Addressing these barriers by strengthening services and building capacity within communities while integrating input from Indigenous communities is essential to improve accessibility. View Full-Text
Keywords: healthcare accessibility; Indigenous communities; social determinants of health healthcare accessibility; Indigenous communities; social determinants of health
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MDPI and ACS Style

Nguyen, N.H.; Subhan, F.B.; Williams, K.; Chan, C.B. Barriers and Mitigating Strategies to Healthcare Access in Indigenous Communities of Canada: A Narrative Review. Healthcare 2020, 8, 112. https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8020112

AMA Style

Nguyen NH, Subhan FB, Williams K, Chan CB. Barriers and Mitigating Strategies to Healthcare Access in Indigenous Communities of Canada: A Narrative Review. Healthcare. 2020; 8(2):112. https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8020112

Chicago/Turabian Style

Nguyen, Nam H., Fatheema B. Subhan, Kienan Williams, and Catherine B. Chan 2020. "Barriers and Mitigating Strategies to Healthcare Access in Indigenous Communities of Canada: A Narrative Review" Healthcare 8, no. 2: 112. https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8020112

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