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This study does not suggest solutions to problems related to the health of Manitoba’s Registered First Nations people. Many of the important observations raise questions which can stimulate discussion between stakeholders (including health providers) and policymakers.
Despite areas where health status and use of health services does not seem to match, generally, the system seems to be responding to the needs of those in poorer health. To say that more hospitals or more physicians are needed is too simplistic an answer.
For example, referrals to specialists for RFN is on par with those for other Manitobans. Such referrals actually seem low, given the RFN’s poorer health. While some areas with low consult rates also have few specialists, other areas with low consult rates are actually close to Winnipeg and Brandon (where 90% of specialists are located). Thus, the real issue may be to improve the referral system rather than having more specialists.