British Columbia Tripartite First Nations Health Plan
As part of the British Columbia Tripartite Framework Agreement on First Nation Health Governance, on October 1st 2013, the Government of Canada transferred its role in the design, management, and delivery of First Nations health programming in British Columbia to the new First Nations Health Authority (FNHA).
About the framework agreement
When the federal and provincial governments and the BC First Nations leadership signed the Tripartite First Nations Health Plan Memorandum of Understanding in 2006, which led to the Tripartite First Nations Health Plan in 2007, they committed to changing the way health care for First Nations is structured and delivered in BC. The core of that change is to give First Nations a major role in the design and delivery of health care for their own people while ensuring increased coordination and integration with the provincial health care system.
The BC Tripartite First Nations Health Plan has many aspects. These range from work to improve health services, shift the emphasis to wellness and preventing illness, improve performance tracking and the creation of a new First Nations health governance structure.
Together, the three partners are making progress towards the commitments made in the BC Tripartite First Nations Health Plan. For example, in August 2009, the Minister of Health acknowledged how working in this new tripartite manner proved valuable in developing a proactive response to the H1N1 epidemic.
Significant progress has also been made on the creation of a new health governance structure for BC First Nations and key agreements to begin to implement this new structure are now in place. The Basis for a Framework Agreement, signed in July 2010, led to the negotiation of the landmark Framework Agreement on First Nation Health Governance. BC First Nations voted strongly in favour of a resolution to support the framework a greement at Gathering Wisdom for a Shared Journey IV, held in May 2011 in Richmond BC. This vote confirmed support from First Nations for the vision and direction of the First Nations Health Council and the First Nations Health Society as well as the framework agreement..
Having received the support of First Nations, British Columbia and Canada, the f ramework a greement was signed on October 13, 2011.
The significance of the framework agreement
The framework a greement represents an important milestone for the health of BC First Nations people and communities. It is the legal agreement that sets in motion the process for transferring the Government of Canada's role in designing and delivering health programs and services to First Nations in BC to a new First Nations Health Authority.
The First Nations Health Authority is one component of this new health governance structure. The others are: a First Nations Health Council to provide political leadership, a Tripartite Committee on First Nations Health to support integration, and a First Nations Health Directors' Association to facilitate professional management capacity at the community level and to provide expert advice.
A number of sub-agreements that build on the principles established in the framework agreement have been completed and facilitated the implementation of the framework a greement.
When the f ramework a greement is fully implemented, through this new health governance structure, First Nations will have an important role in determining and defining their own health needs, and the design, delivery and evaluation of health programs to meet these needs at the community, regional and provincial levels.
New relationships for First Nations health
Under the new system, through the First Nations Health Authority and the Tripartite Committee on First Nations Health, First Nations will work closely with the BC Ministry of Health and Regional Health Authorities for better coordination of health programs and services. That will result in a more integrated system, and better health outcomes for First Nations people and communities.
In the ongoing tripartite partnership, Indigenous Services Canada's role will be that of funder and governance partner, which means that the department will continue to be an active participant in the implementation of the First Nations health agenda in BC, but no longer delivering or defining the services as before. We will continue to work with BC First Nations and the Province of BC to realize our shared vision through the ongoing contribution of knowledge, advice, expertise and support.
For information about health services and programming for First Nations in British Columbia contact the First Nations Health Authority.
About our partners
Indigenous Services Canada, the First Nations Health Council, and the British Columbia Ministry of Health are working together to implement the Framework Agreement.
The First Nations Health Council was created by First Nations in February 2007 to implement the Tripartite First Nations Health Plan. You can find out more about this organization and its role at First Nations Health Council.
You can learn more about the BC Ministry of Health at BC Ministry of Health.