The Provincial Well being Providers Authority (PHSA) didn’t persistently present entry to psychological well being and substance use providers for Indigenous individuals in British Columbia correctional centres, in accordance with B.C.’s Workplace of the Auditor Normal.
An announcement from the workplace of Auditor Normal Michael Pickup says the PHSA — which has been liable for well being care in B.C.’s 10 correctional centres since 2017 — “couldn’t verify whether or not Indigenous purchasers coming into correctional amenities had been offered essential psychological well being and substance use providers, assessed appropriately or if discharge care plans had been in place for his or her launch.”
An audit of 92 information of Indigenous purchasers from 2019 to 2021 discovered gaps in monitoring and oversight by the PHSA attributed to restricted capability of its shopper well being data system and an absence of shopper file critiques.
Pickup stated the system can’t generate detailed studies, making it tough for workers to evaluate whether or not they’re offering required providers to everybody who wants them.
“After taking a look at these information, we discovered that the PHSA Isn’t totally delivering on what it’s presupposed to do,” Pickup stated in a information convention on Thursday. “And albeit, the PHSA must do higher to look after Indigenous individuals in correctional centres.”
The audit discovered that whereas well being screenings for many Indigenous purchasers had been accomplished on time, the PHSA didn’t persistently full complete assessments, detailed care plans or guarantee purchasers had been related with providers.
Fewer than half of Indigenous shopper information within the pattern had a whole care plan for psychological well being and/or substance use providers. About 80 per cent of purchasers acquired some providers, whereas round 20 per cent acquired no providers.
The audit additionally discovered seven per cent of purchasers within the pattern had a plan for discharge, whereas over half acquired some type of discharge planning.
When requested whether or not non-Indigenous inmates face comparable gaps in psychological well being and substance use providers, Pickup stated he could not make that assumption, however the audit does elevate “truthful questions that folks might need to ask” the well being authority.
Pickup says Indigenous persons are over-represented in correctional centres, the place the impacts of colonialism and discrimination are evident.
In 2020-21, B.C. Corrections held roughly 1,500 people in custody on a median day, with about 500 figuring out as Indigenous, the auditor normal’s workplace states. Between 2019 and 2021, round 90 per cent of Indigenous women and men in provincial custody had a recognized psychological well being and/or substance use dysfunction.
Pickup says it is essential to recollect there are actual individuals behind the numbers in his report.
“These are actual individuals, every with particular person points, be they substance-related or psychological health-related or each,” he stated. “Every one in all these individuals is equally essential, and it is equally essential that every has that continuum of care.”
The audit contains 4 suggestions to enhance inside reporting and oversight of psychological well being and substance use providers in B.C. correctional centres. PHSA accepted all 4 suggestions.