First Nations Health Services Program
(To contact the First Nations Health Services Coordinator, view our contacts under the staff section).
The First Nations Health Services Coordinator is responsible for the delivery of translation and navigation services to all Atlantic First Nations and Inuit community members, and their families, who request support while receiving and/or are about to receive medical treatment in the Halifax/Dartmouth area.
Halifax/Dartmouth area is home to many of the major hospitals providing medical care and treatment to many Atlantic Canadians. Aboriginal People rely on these medical facilities for treatment, thus determining the need to provide support services to Aboriginal patients and their families. As a result, the First Nations Health Services Coordinator was established. This program has been in existence for many years and has proven to be beneficial to both the Aboriginal People and the health care providers.
The First Nations Health Services Coordinator also fulfills a valuable role as an advocate for families. In this capacity, communities have consistently identified the challenges encountered when families are accessing medical services in Nova Scotia Health Authority, Central Zone. Inadequate Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) coverage seems to be the primary challenge identified by those accessing services. Other challenges include the lack of support to have extended family or those not related, such as traditional healers, stay in the area to be with the individual during their treatment and healing. We continue to work on issues like this and other similar issues through the NIHB subcommittee of the Atlantic First Nations Health Partnership.