That's great. This is a subject area that I can talk about for a while.
The First Nations Health Authority has been evolving for many years and now is a first nations health organization that has close to 1,000 employees helping about 160,000 first nations people in B.C.
There are a few themes. One is self-determination. It doesn't make sense for first nations health to be run from Vancouver or from Ottawa. Perhaps more local workers and local knowledge could be incorporated.
We've understood that sometimes our workers, who are meant to be helpful and not hurtful, are not well versed in our communities and community needs, and that a clerk in an office in Vancouver making health decisions that supersede those of an indigenous physician who's on the ground—or any physician or health care worker on the ground—is completely inappropriate, and we had to change the way that business was practised.
As many of you know, with quality improvements, making changes—just very simple business practices like how quickly you can get a scalpel to an operating room—requires quite a lot of co-operation and an admission by those workers in that chain that they can do better.
In B.C., that was the beginning of that transformation, and we made quite rigorous commitments through first nations leadership, but also at a tripartite level. Since I've arrived on the call, I haven't heard a mention of the responsibility of provincial services, which is the lion's share of services. They employ doctors and nurses and run hospitals and clinics, so it's the co-operation of the province, the federal partners, the first nations and particularly the first nations health leaders, not just leaders. Chiefs can make some change, but health leaders like Dr. Lafontaine and Dr. Makokis absolutely need to be a part of that process and part of the rigour of making change. They hold the moral high ground in order to ask for those quality changes.