In response to the pandemic, the FNHA and Island Health established the Rural and Remote Indigenous Work Stream (the RRI Work Stream) to provide a coordinated, collaborative, and culturally safe approach to support rural and remote communities in addressing COVID-19. The RRI Work Stream developed this rural and remote COVID-19 framework. The overarching goal is to address the inherent challenges for remote and Indigenous communities when responding to COVID-19 through the establishment of tools and processes to align health and wellness service delivery professional and organizational actions, and also enhance community response capacity.
This framework serves as a guide for testing, clinical pathways, patient transport, and provides other tools to support a rural, remote, and Indigenous COVID-19 response and to achieve the key deliverables outlined by the Ministry of Health. The framework also acts as the building blocks towards a permanent foundation capable of addressing the urgent and emergent health needs of rural, remote and indigenous communities across BC.
It is acknowledged that barriers to accessing care and transport are not specific to rural and remote and that in our work, we will leave no one behind. While this framework has been developed for a rural and remote COVID-19 response, the solutions and pathways are available for all of Vancouver Island’s 50 First Nations communities.