WINNIPEG — Hospitals in Manitoba will soon begin collecting voluntary data on race, ethnicity and Indigenous identity.
The data will be collected during the registration process beginning May 11 whenever a patient arrives at the hospital.
“We saw during COVID-19 how powerful good data was to inform planning that met the needs of the population through better informed vaccine eligibility, and vaccine and testing sites in trusted places in communities,” said Dr. Marcia Anderson, executive director of Indigenous affairs at Ongomiizwin and vice-dean of Indigenous health, social justice and anti-racism in the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba.
“Collecting racial, ethnic and Indigenous identifiers means we will be able to look at broader health care quality measures and build on the COVID-19 data governance and engagement processes to improve how the health care system serves Black, Indigenous and diverse ethnic or racial communities.”
Manitoba is the first province in the country to collect such data upon entry to a hospital. Patients will be asked to self-identify and choose from a list of Indigenous identities such as First Nations Status, Inuit or Métis, or other identities such as Black, Filipino, Southeast Asian, Middle Eastern or White. Shared Health says self-declaring is voluntary and the information provided won’t impact how care is provided.