Care Providers Say Ottawa Takes Far Too Long To Pay For Health Services For First Nations Kids

Some health care providers say bureaucratic red tape at the federal level is holding up vital therapies for First Nations children, causing some kids to experience further developmental delays and leaving their businesses in financial distress.

Several speech-language pathologists interviewed by CBC News said their clients are waiting six to 12 months for funding approvals from Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) to begin sessions under the Jordan's Principle policy.

That policy states that when federal and provincial governments disagree over which government is responsible for providing services to First Nations children, they must help the child first and argue over the bills later. The speech-language pathologists told CBC News it can take even longer for the department to pay for their services. Some say they have been waiting for payment for over a year.

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