2021 Reports 10 and 11 of the Auditor General of Canada to the Parliament of Canada—Indigenous Services Canada adapted quickly to respond to Indigenous communities’ increased needs during the pandemic
2021 Reports 10 and 11 of the Auditor General of Canada to the Parliament of CanadaIndigenous Services Canada adapted quickly to respond to Indigenous communities’ increased needs during the pandemic
Ottawa, 26 May 2021—A report from Auditor General Karen Hogan tabled today in the House of Commons found that Indigenous Services Canada adjusted its approach to respond to Indigenous communities and organizations’ increased needs for personal protective equipment (PPE) and health care workers during the pandemic. The audit examined whether the Department provided sufficient PPE, nurses, and paramedics to Indigenous communities and organizations in a coordinated and timely manner in order to help them respond to COVID‑19.
The audit found that Indigenous Services Canada did not have complete and accurate data on the content of its stockpile of PPE, and at the onset of the pandemic, the Department did not have sufficient quantities of some items, such as gloves and hand sanitizer. Starting in April 2020, the Department was able to secure additional PPE and quickly provide it to Indigenous communities and organizations when provinces and territories were unable to do so. In addition, the Department expanded access to its stockpile beyond those directly supporting the delivery of health services to include police officers and people in communities who were sick with COVID‑19 or caring for a sick family member.
The audit also found that Indigenous Services Canada expanded access to its contract nurses to all Indigenous communities and created new contracts for nurses and paramedics, and streamlined its processes for hiring nurses in response to the increased needs for health care workers in Indigenous communities. Despite these efforts, as demand continued to increase, the Department was unable to meet more than half of the 963 requests for extra nurses and paramedics that it received.
The 2021 Reports of the Auditor General of Canada, Report 11—Health Resources for Indigenous Communities—Indigenous Services Canada is available on the Office of the Auditor General of Canada website.
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