Why do indigenous communities have the worst access to health care in Canada?

Not only do Indigenous communities have the worst physical access to healthcare, they also do not have culturally safe access.

The system of inequalities that have been fostered since colonialism has created a healthcare system that is poorly accessible to Indigenous communities. Furthermore, systemic racism, discrimination, negative stigma, and low socio-economic status are all deterants that Indigenous people face when trying to access conventional healthcare. The impacts of colonization mean that to this day, 50 percent of indigenous people live in rural and remote communities which makes their health care access that much worse.[4]

Indigenous communities face both the challenges presented due to rural/remote access and the challenges of being Indigenous, such that our healthcare system does not meet their needs. Physical therapists, and all other healthcare personnel, need to better recognize the disparity in access that Indigenous people face and work with them on improving access to healthcare.

Watch Physical Therapist and CEO of Curovate, Nirtal Shah, discuss why Inidigenous communities have the worst health care in Canada in the video below.

Read the full blog on why do Indigenous communities have the worst access to healthcare in Canada here.

Read all of Nirtal's blogs here.

Curovate was started primarily to improve access to physical therapy and healthcare. We developed our Curovate physical therapy app that helps guide somebody through their rehabilitation for ACL, Knee replacement, Hip replacement at home. Curovate provides daily video guided strengthening exercises, the ability to measure knee range of motion, in-app chat with a physical therapist to answer your surgery and recovery questions and educational blogs and webinars.

If you need further customized assistance during your ACL recovery check out our Virtual Physical Therapy page to book your 1-on-1 video session with a physical therapist.

An offer from Curovate

As a company, Curovate was created to remove barriers to healthcare access. We truly believe in the vision of healthcare access by those who need it and not just those who can afford it. Based on this vision, we would like to offer our subscription based mobile app at no cost to anyone who identifies as Indigenous in Canada and has limited access to rehabilitation following a knee replacement, hip replacement or ACL surgery. Download our Curovate physical therapy app from the links below and simply email the CEO and physical therapist, Nirtal Shah, and he will provide you with free access after you download the app - Get it on Google Play Document

Other recommended blogs


1. Hojjati A, Beavis ASW, Kassam A, et al. Educational content related to postcolonialism and indigenous health inequities recommended for all rehabilitation students in Canada: a qualitative study. Disabil Rehabil. 2018;40(26):3206-3216. doi:10.1080/09638288.2017.1381185

2. Nguyen NH, Subhan FB, Williams K, Chan CB. Barriers and mitigating strategies to healthcare access in indigenous communities of canada: A narrative review. Healthcare (Basel). 2020;8(2). doi:10.3390/healthcare8020112

3. Nixon SA. The coin model of privilege and critical allyship: implications for health. BMC Public Health. 2019;19(1):1637. doi:10.1186/s12889-019-7884-9

4. Bourassa C. Addressing the duality of access to healthcare for indigenous communities: racism and geographical barriers to safe care. Healthc Pap. 2018;17(3):6-10. doi:10.12927/hcpap.2018.25507

5. Spalevic M, Dimitrijevic L, Kocic M, Stankovic I, Zivkovic V. AB1124β€…The Importance of the Early Rehabilitation after Total Knee Replacement in Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients. Ann Rheum Dis. 2014;73(Suppl 2):1173.4-1174. doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2014-eular.4638

6. Canada: More unmarked graves likely at former residential school site - BBC News. Accessed August 25, 2021.