Racism and discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation, race, age, religion or disability have no place in society, particularly in our health and social services system. Every patient, caregiver, health care worker, physician, researcher, employee, learner and volunteer has the right to receive care or work in a safe and inclusive environment free from discrimination and harassment.
That’s what we strive to achieve every day at McGill University Health Center (MUHC).
Wanting to do better and realizing the scale of racism issues that have emerged in recent years in Quebec and around the world, our Board of Directors with the support of senior management established the Action Committee on Inclusion, Diversity and Equity (C-AIDE) two years ago to take a closer look at the situation in our organization. We are proud of this proactive initiative, and it is, to our knowledge, a first in the health care sectors in Quebec and Canada.
While the committee’s work has been delayed by the pandemic, a presentation on the findings and recommendations is given to the board of directors on Friday. The MUHC management team will be tasked with ensuring that these recommendations form the basis of an objective action plan that will encourage awareness and remove barriers to equality, diversity and inclusion.
The MUHC community expresses gratitude to all participants from across MUHC and the MUHC Community Research Institute (RI-MUHC) who completed anonymous web surveys. Furthermore, some individuals and groups, including MUHC partners, accepted the invitation to be interviewed and were able to share their views and living experiences, some of which were disturbing. They have been listened to and should be taken seriously.
We intend to continue collaborating with indigenous communities in the Montreal region, as well as with our partners at RUISSS McGill in Nunavík, Crie, Nord-de-Quebec and elsewhere. We will also do more to ensure that other low-representation groups have equal access to jobs and advancement opportunities, as well as a secure reporting system to address any issues of discrimination, racism and prejudice.
MUHC and RI-MUHC is a multidisciplinary community of more than 16,000 people from all backgrounds, as well as hundreds of thousands of patients, caregivers, and visitors each year. The C-AIDE Report is a critical step, as it provides a roadmap that will guide our efforts to embed the principles and values associated with equity, diversity and inclusion at every level of our organization.
We would like to express our sincere appreciation to the Committee for accomplishing this important task. We look forward to strengthening the positive initiatives already underway in our organization, and building a better MUHC.
Pierre Geffler, Family Physician, President and CEO of McGill University Health Center (MUHC) since 2018.
The authors of the MUHC report on systemic racism said they couldn’t talk to the media
Report on MUHC Systematic Racism Includes Chilling Testimonies
The survey of systemic racism made some concern at MUHC