September 2019
To: British Columbia Ministry of Health & Health Authorities Policy Makers
From: Rural Evidence Review Project Centre for Rural Health Research, UBC

The importance of involving patients in health care is widely recognized and prioritized through British Columbia’s Patient-Centred Care Framework.

Although B.C’s framework is focused on patient participation in their own care, the framework does recognize the role for patients, families 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 framework and can be traced to the BC 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 CPC involvement in health care activities as articulated in the Seaton report remained until the early 2000s through participation 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 Service 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 widespread agreement, however, that a robust replacement to local hospital boards has not yet been achieved and consequently, CPC voices in health care activities have been diminished.

To download the report, click on:
Citizen-Patient-Community Participation in Health Care Planning, Decision Making and Delivery through Rural Health Councils