In recognition of the unique status and needs of First Nations and Inuit in Canada, the federal government established the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB) within the department of Health Canada. This branch works closely with First Nations and Inuit to improve health outcomes; to ensure the availability of, or access to, quality health services; and to support greater control of the health system by First Nations and Inuit.
Health Canada’s role in First Nations and Inuit health began in 1945, when Indian health services were transferred from Indian Affairs to Health Canada. By 1962, Health Canada was providing direct health services to First Nations people on reserve and to Inuit communities in the north. By the mid 1980s, work began to have First Nations and Inuit communities control more health services.
The First Nations and Inuit Health Branch supports the delivery of public health and health promotion services on-reserve and in Inuit communities. It also provides drug, dental and ancillary health services to First Nations and Inuit people regardless of residence. The Branch also provides primary care services on-reserve in remote and isolated areas, where there are no provincial services readily available.
The programs of the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch are carried out by the following directorates and offices:
•Business Planning and Management Directorate
•Community Programs Directorate
•Non-Insured Health Benefits Directorate
•Office of Community Medicine
•Office of Nursing Services
•Office of the Chief Dental Officer
•Primary Health Care and Public Health Directorate
•Strategic Policy, Planning and Analysis Directorate
For Further information of First nations and Inuit health – Health Canada please visit their website at: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/branch-dirgen/fnihb-dgspni/index-eng.php