Collect data on race and Indigenous identity on health card renewals, say Unity Health physicians, researchers

June 26, 2023
From Unity Health Toronto

Physicians, researchers and experts – many from Unity Health Toronto — are calling for the collection of data on race and Indigenous identity during the health card application and renewal process as a way to identify and address health inequities.

The group outlined their proposal in a commentary published in The Canadian Medical Association Journal.

In Canada, research shows that Indigenous and racialized patients have worse access to healthcare, receive poorer care and have worse outcomes than White people. Racism in healthcare faced by Indigenous and Black patients has been well-documented in reports and investigations.

“Having data on race available for analysis can facilitate the measurement of racial inequities and help to hold organizations and governments accountable for addressing these and monitor progress,” wrote the authors, who include Dr. Andrew Pinto, Dr. Azza Eissa, Dr. Tara Kiran, Dr. Angela Mashford-Pringle, Unity Health Director of Anti-Racism, Equity and Social Accountability Allison Needham and Dr. Irfan Dhalla.

The group wrote that collecting self-reported race data will allow for the measurement of health inequities, and help hold organizations and governments accountable for addressing these inequities. Having data on race will also help analysts track and measure progress, they wrote.


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