The BC Rural Centre

Access to adequate health care in rural and remote communities and First Nations in British Columbia is an ongoing challenge.

Organizations like the First Nations Health Authority and the Rural Coordination Centre of BC have emerged as champions advocating for rural patients and their physicians.

Most recently, new, made in rural BC telehealth initiatives like CODI (Critical Outreach and Diagnostic Intervention), and programs and projects such as the Rural Obstetrics Network and the Rural Evidence Review, hold tremendous promise for improving both quality and access to healthcare in rural & remote communities and First Nations.

Perhaps most importantly, the rollout of Primary Care Networks (PCNs) across the province, is poised to transform healthcare delivery for all British Columbians — a process with enormous implications for rural British Columbians.

To read more, click on BC Rural Centre/Health

For an overview of Rural Health Initiatives in BC, Click on: Rural Health Initiatives in British Columbia a Brief Overview

Salt Spring Island

Quadra Island Health Society

Elizabeth Doak, Secretary –

The Quadra Island Health Society was formed in July 2018, to take over management of QI Medical Clinic, when the resident physician was retiring and moved away. A Full Time (FT) doctor was not available. The Society has managed the clinic, using locum physicians and now has contracted a FT physician; we retained the Nurse Practitioner and all services on site and will continue to do so, with support from the Vancouver Island Heath Authority. We are interested in exploring further options to maintain and upgrade our local rural health services.


Rural Pre-Medicine Brochure

The Rural Pre-Medicine Program (RPM) was launched in 2014 with support from the Joint Standing Committee on Rural Issues – a committee comprised of Doctors of BC and the Ministry of Health.

It was designed to help address the underrepresentation of rural students in professional health care programs. RPM pairs academic excellence with mentoring and community service opportunities while providing students with the support they need to apply competitively to medical school as well as programs in pharmacy, dentistry, optometry, veterinary medicine, and more. 

RPM offers students an effective pathway that does not require them to begin their academic journey by moving to a large urban centre. Graduates from the program experience great success moving forward in the health sciences. For example, in the past three years seven of the program’s former students have already received offers of admission to medical schools in Canada. RPM students have also successfully entered programs in Optometry and Doctor of Pharmacy as well as BSc and BHSc programs throughout BC. The program continues to celebrates the success of its graduates as many of them work towards future careers in rural health care.

The RPM Program aims to function as an open door through which individuals, even from historically underrepresented groups, can enter upon a pathway towards a professional career in health care. To date, over 85% of students who have entered the program have come from a rural or remote community. Although the majority of these students hail from the Kootenay Boundary Region, each year, the program receives an increasing number of applicants from other rural communities.

College President Angus Graeme:
“Rural and remote communities across Canada are experiencing real challenges finding physicians and other health professionals who are committed to and passionate about careers in quality health care in small communities. Our Rural Pre-Medicine program is an innovative, high quality preparedness program in the rural context for students who want to work as physicians and health professionals in remote and small communities. To me, this is one of Selkirk College’s unique and exciting contributions to supporting professional health care in Canada.”

BC Healthy Communities

BC Healthy Communities Society (BCHC) is a province-wide not-for-profit that facilitates the ongoing development of healthy, thriving and resilient communities. We provide a range of resources, programs and fee-for-service offerings that support multi-sectoral groups to collaborate around a shared vision for a common purpose. We work closely with, and have strong partnerships with local governments and health authorities across the province.

We have adopted and adapted the Healthy Communities Approach in our work to support local governments as they create equitable policies that address community health and well-being. The Healthy Communities movement recognizes that 60% of what makes us healthy is determined by our built, social, environmental and economic environments, and helps local governments design these various environments to support maximum health and well-being.

Visit us at BC Healthy Communities

Patient’s Medical Home

Click on the bold text to access the entire publication.

Patient’s Medical Home

Excerpt: The evolving needs of patients and their communities place ever-changing demands on the health care system to maintain and improve the quality of services provided. Changing population demographics, increasing complexity, and new technology make for a dynamic system. Family physicians are at the heart of the health care system, acting as the rst point of contact and a reliable medical resource to the communities they serve, caring for patients and supporting them throughout all interactions with the health care system. The Patient’s Medical Home (PMH) is a vision that emphasizes the role of the family practice and family physicians in providing high-quality, compassionate, and timely care.

The success of a PMH depends on collaboration and teamwork—from the patient’s participation in their care to interprofessional and intraprofessional care

providers working together, to policy-makers who can o er infrastructure support and funding. PMH 2019 was created with invaluable feedback from a broad range of stakeholders re ective of such a joint approach. Its goal is to make the PMH a reality for patients and providers across Canada.

In 2011 the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) released A Vision for Canada: Family Practice – The Patient’s Medical Home.1 It outlined a vision for the future of primary care by transforming the health care system to better meet the needs of everyone living in Canada. The vision outlined the 10 pillars that make up the PMH and provided detailed recommendations to assist family physicians and their teams, as well as policy-makers and health care system administrators, to implement this new model across the country.

While progress has been made, there is still work to be done to fully achieve the PMH vision. In 2016 almost 75 per cent of Canadians rated the quality of care received from their family physicians as good or excellent.4 In 2017 a CFPC survey found that 79 per cent of respondents rate the care they receive from their family doctor as excellent or good.5However, at the same time 55 per cent of Canadians also believed that the overall health care system still required fundamental changes.4 In addition, Canada continues to perform below the international average on certain aspects of patient-centred care; for example, same- or next-day access to appointments. While most Canadians (84.7 per cent) have a regular doctor or place of care, they generally report longer wait times for medical care than adults in

comparable countries.4 PMH 2019 addresses these concerns and proposes solutions that can help further improve the primary care system for all.