To: British Columbia Ministry of Health & Health Authority Decision-Makers
From: Rural Evidence Review Project, Centre for Rural Health Research, UBC

The importance of involving patients in health care activities is widely recognized and prioritized through British Columbia’s Patient-Centred Care Framework. Although BC’s framework is focused on patient participation in their own care, the framework does not recognize the role for patients, family and caregivers to participate in quality improvement and health care redesign.

The challenge of citizen-patient-community (CPC) involvement in health care activities in British Columbia predates the Patient-Centred Care Framework and can be traced to the B.C. Royal Commission on Health Care and Costs (1991) (i.e., the Seaton report) which highlighted the importance to include CPCs in health system decision-making.

Despite multiple iterations of health care restructuring following the Commission, the vision of enhanced involvement in health care activites as articulated in the Seaton report remained into the early 2000s through CPC participatin on hospital boards. The disbandment of hospital boards in the 2000s alongside further health care restructuring that resulted in the current Regional Health Authorities, the Provincial Health Services Authority and what became the First Nations Health Authority, was met with the promise that the new structure would ensure local CPC engagement and involvement. There is a widespread agreement, however, that a robust replacement to local hospital boards has bot yet been achieved and consequently, CPC voices in health care activates have been diminished.

For Key Points from the Evidence, and Recommendations read the full report at: