Health Advocacy

Download your PDF copy of the First Nations Health & You health resource guide for Programs, Services, and Advocacy.
PDF: First Nations Health & You

The role of the Health Advocate is to:

• Serve as first point of contact for communities, organizations, and individuals requesting support and advocacy on Non- Insured Health Benefits and Medical Services Plan issues. 
• Communicate effectively with clients and organizations to identify problem/issue, review policies and First Nation Inuit Health/Ministry of Health decisions, and identify and carry out strategies to support First Nations clients and organizations. 
• Negotiate resolution of problems and issues with FNIHB/MOH officials.
• Act as a liaison with First Nations, other organizations, and federal and provincial departments for the purpose of NIHB and health advocacy.  Attend meetings and other functions to promote First Nations health policies, activities, initiatives and plans.  

• Promote the advocacy work conducted by the First Nations Health Council to encourage BC First Nations individuals, communities and organizations to call or email their concerns and/or issues related NIHB/MSP. 
• Work with the BC Dental Association to collectively resolve global issues specific to dental services for BC First Nations through proposed initiatives.

Program Goals and Objectives

• Assist in the achievement of First Nations Health Council goals and objectives by providing planning, research and negotiations support as it relates to NIHB and health advocacy.  This includes developing and drafting documents that support negotiations with federal and provincial governments and other agencies.
• Develop data on non insured health benefits complaints and resolutions, and make recommendations that are British Columbia specific that would have national impact and relevance. 
• Develop a half-day or full-day training for new advocates, navigators, aboriginal liaisons provincially and across the country.
• To continue to strengthen relationship to communities, health services, providers, federal and provincial governments.
• Link strongly with the BC Health Plan.
• Continue data collection/evidence base information to assist in recommendations to change the system.
• Consider international comparative health systems look at what we can learn and what we are leading on. 
• Finally, link to similar work regionally and nationally, including Assembly of First Nations health issues database.

AFN NIHB booklet

FNIH, NIHB booklet


External Links:

First Nations,  Inuit  and Aboriginal Health – Non Insured Health Benefits

Travel Assistance Program Patients Rural Health

British Columbia Pharmacy Association

Vancouver Island Health Authority

Vancouver Coastal Health Authority

Northern Health Authority

Interior Health Authority

Fraser Health Authority

BC Aboriginal Network on Disabilities

Ministry of Health Services

BC Dental Association

Assembly of First Nations

Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Non- Insured Health Benefits Program

Inter Tribal Health Authority