State of BC Health

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Aug_Title_Logo.pngYour monthly update from the BC Health Coalition

UPDATE A seat at the table: First gathering of BC's new Community Health Centre Partnership Table moves us one step closer to a meaningful community of practice

A new provincial Community Health Centre (CHC) Partnership Table had its first gathering this November. Bringing together an unusually broad cross-section of community and government stakeholders, the partnership table is a recognition of the power of community collaboration. “This important milestone is the result of dedicated work by the BC Association of Community Health Centres (BCACHC), our Coalition and many other community partners,” says Edith MacHattie, one of BCHC’s representatives at the table.

Representatives from the BCACHCs, the BC Health Coalition, the BC Rural Health Network, and the Community Alliance of Racialized Ethnocultural Services (CARES) for Equitable Health, as well as patients of CHCs and providers who work at CHCs, determined to work together to grow the CHC model in BC. According to Marcy Cohen, another BCHC representative at... the table, “We have demonstrated our capacity to work productively together in bringing this table together, specifically by ensuring the table was representative of the diversity in our province.” READ MORE.

TAKE ACTION Decriminalize drug use

Take_Action.pngThe overdose crisis has killed more British Columbians than the COVID-19 pandemic. At our AGM in November, Peer Facilitators Dave Hamm and Samona Marsh from Pivot Legal Society shared how an unsafe drug supply and the criminalization of drug users are leading to preventable deaths. Medical experts like Dr. Bonnie Henry and Dr. Patty Daly, front-line advocates and the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police have all called on governments to decriminalize drug possession. Public pressure is building across the country to support their call. Take action by signing petitions to Premier Horgan and Prime Minister Trudeau, or by participating in Pivot's letter-writing campaign to Vancouver Mayor and Council.

OPINION Health Coalitions Call for Increased Federal Health Care Funding and Accountability

Canada's Premiers met with Justin Trudeau on December 10 to request an increase in federal funding for health care. The BC Health Coalition, the Canadian Health Coalition, and other provincial health coalitions put out a joint press release call for a long-term increase to the Canada Health Transfer.This funding must be accompanied by a robust accountability framework to ensure that provinces and territories invest this money in public health care and uphold the Canada Health Act. READ MORE.


Coordinator (he/him/his)
Strategic Priorities & Planning, Organizational Health, Financial Strategy

Usman has been organizing for migrant justice for the past decade in Toronto, Ottawa, and now unceded Coast Salish Territories. His most recent work involved collaborating with youth in the City of Richmond to plan and implement youth-led campaigns. One of these campaigns worked with Vancouver Coastal Health and TransCare BC to bring trans youth created education resources highlighting the experiences of trans youth outside of urban areas to schools, libraries, and clinics in the lower mainland. He is also the sleep-deprived parent of a 15-month old toddler! Before baby, he frequently DJed dance parties.

Campaigner (she/her/hers)
Campaigns Strategy, Policy Analysis & Advocacy, Media & Communications Strategy

Ishani is a lobbyist, educator, and campaign organizer. She is the former Director of Organizing and Outreach at the Alberta Federation of Labour and most recently served as Manager of Communications and Education at the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees. She is passionate about high participation community organizing, popular education, and using labour organizing principles in engagement and communication strategies. She has an academic background in Political Science and writes about solidarity and hashtags in her spare time. Born in Colombo, Ishani has also lived in Manitoba, Ontario, and Alberta.

Organizer (she/her/hers)
Member Engagement & Outreach, Education & Capacity Building, Mobilization Strategy

Audrey believes in the power of organized, active citizenship. She is trained in the broad-based relational organizing tradition of the Industrial Areas Foundation and has been involved in the Metro Vancouver Alliance organizing effort for over three years. She has been active in affordable housing organizing and has most recently completed a Masters of Urban Studies at SFU. Born in Montreal to a French-speaking family, Audrey spent most of her childhood in Mali and has travelled extensively across five continents. She is deeply grateful to be learning attachment to place on unceded Coast Salish territories.


  • Cambie Trial Moratorium Update On December 8, the appeal court of BC granted Dr. Brian Day a limited and temporary injunction. This stay order will prevent the government from enforcing the full trial ruling against illegal billing until Day's appeal case is heard by the courts in June 2021. While this comes as a disappointment, legal experts suggested it was a likely procedural event, and we are relieved to see the court has only granted a limited injunction.

  • BCHC and Canadian Doctors for Medicare mourn the passing of Joseph J. Arvay, O.C, O.B.C, Q.C. Joe was a key member of our legal team in the Cambie Trial, and one of Canada's leading constitutional lawyers. He will be sorely missed by so many. READ MORE.

  • Did you miss the Committing to Seniors Care Webinars hosted by the BC Health Coalition and Council of Canadians? You can find the webinar recordings, presentations, and summaries on our website. Click here for details of our "Removing the Profit Motive" webinar and here for details of our "Addressing the Gaps" webinar.

  • Federal leadership needed for long-term care and continuing care. The CCPA has released a report calling for national standards for long-term care homes and an accompanying federal labour force strategy. Co-authors Pat Armstrong and Marcy Cohen recommend foundational principles for pan-Canadian continuing care services. READ MORE.

  • Concerned about virtual health care? A study from July 2020 found that while virtual care can improve access for those in remote locations, episodic care can reduce the quality of care and also comes with significant privacy issues. READ MORE.

  • This New York Times article explores how the privatization of health care in Italy set the scene for Lombardy to be overwhelmed by COVID-19. Years of privatization in health care has left Italy's wealthiest region filled with specialty medical facilities yet unprepared to deal with primary health care and public health emergencies. READ MORE.

HERE to make a year-end gift to the BC Health Coalition

Donations by cheque can be made out to BC Health Coalition and mailed to BC Health Coalition 302-3102 Main Street Vancouver BC V5T 3G7.

If you would like to set up monthly donations by cheque, please fill out this Donation Form and mail it in with a void cheque.


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British Columbia Health Coalition · 3102 Main St, 302, Vancouver, Unceded Coast Salish Territories, BC V5T 3G7, Canada
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