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Crombie Announces New Federal Policy For Indian Health

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      SEPTEMBER 1979      v09 n09 p04  
Health Minister, Dave Crombie recently announced a new federal policy for Indian Health which removes the guidelines introduced by the former Liberal government.

P.C. Health Minister Crombie
P.C. Health Minister Crombie
Former Health Minister Monique Begin under the Liberal government had set guidelines for uninsured health services such as eye care, dental work, drugs and transportation. This meant that the federal government would pay the cost of services only for those Indian people who could not afford them. These guidelines were temporarily suspended when there was a cry of protest from Indian leaders from across Canada.

The new policy recognizes the special Health rights in accordance with the Treaty Indian people based on the three pillars of community development, the traditional relationship of the Indian people to the Federal government, and a single inter-related Canadian health system consisting of Federal, provincial and community based elements.

With respect to registered Indians residing permanently off-reserve, the policy reiterates that they should receive health services from the Province or municipality of residence. But if such services are denied, the federal government will attempt to ensure their provision.

The policy emphasizes increased participation of Indian bands in Health Care delivery, where sought by Chief and council and provides for close consultation at Band, Provincial and National levels on health programs, finances and allocation of resources.

Crombie's announcement came in a telegram to the National Indian Brotherhood meeting in Montreal on September 19, 1979.