Falconers LLP slams failed health care system for Indigenous people

On Saturday June 11, 2022, Julian Falconer addressed the unhealthy state of healthcare for Indigenous communities in the North at the Canadian Ophthalmological Society’s annual conference in Halifax.

Although the Canadian public and government are well aware of the issues preventing patients from accessing quality healthcare in Indigenous communities, Julian outlined how the system has failed to move from awareness to change in meeting the needs of vulnerable Indigenous communities in Canada.

Julian shed light on several recent victims of this painful and frustrating cycle. Agnes Sutherland, Joey Knapaysweet, Craig Neekan, and Troy Neekan were all Indigenous people suffering personal crises who tried to access health care services in Northern Ontario cities. All of them were denied treatment and died shortly afterwards. Falconers LLP is calling for a joint inquest to address these persistent systemic issues in Northern healthcare.

Health care professionals also heard about the tragic death of Brody Meekis, a four-year-old from Sandy Lake First Nation who died from strep throat in 2014. Although the infection is routinely treated with common antibiotics, no such medication was available in the remote fly-in community. Brody died three days after attending the nursing station.

Furthermore, the system continued to fail Brody and his family after his death as no investigating coroner attended the remote community. The systemic failure of coroners to personally attend deaths of Indigenous people in remote communities is now the subject of a lawsuit for abuse of public office. The Ontario Court of Appeal recently upheld this lawsuit as a legitimate claim.

For a copy of Falconers’ presentation please click here.

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