University Hospital of Northern B.C., in Prince George. (UBC photo)

Housing program to aid Indigenous people travelling far for medical care in northern B.C.

B.C. government launches temporary housing program in Prince George, Fort St. John

First Nation members in northern B.C. who must make lengthy trips to Prince George and Fort St. John for medical care will no longer have to worry about paying for a hotel.

Through a partnership with the First Nations Health Authority, the B.C. government announced Tuesday it will fund temporary housing at existing BC Housing buildings, near medical centres, in the two cities.

“People may have to travel a long way to access health care, including women travelling to give birth,” Housing Minister Selina Robinson said in a statement, adding that this program will particularly help those facing long-term medical stays.

ALSO READ: Health care access, cost of travel top concerns for B.C. rural residents

All clients in these units will have access to the health authority’s transportation program, which helps take patients to and from their community.

In the coming months, officials will determine exactly how many units will be reserved for First Nations patients. Additional locations could be added in the future.

The funding will come from the $7 billion designated for housing in the NDP’s 2018 budget.


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