State of BC Health

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State of BC Health July 2021

Your monthly update from the BC Health Coalition

A call to learn, listen, reflect, and act

September 30, 2021 marks the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. We encourage you to take this call to action by commemorating and honouring Indigenous Survivors of residential schools, their families, and the Missing Children that never returned home from residential schools. With that in mind, we have compiled a list of resources and events that you can use in your own learning, discussion, and action.

We also acknowledge that the legacies of racism and colonialism go far beyond residential schools and continue to impact Indigenous people today. The In Plain Sight report released just last year clearly demonstrated the continuing effects of anti-Indigenous racism in the BC health care system. It is... the shared responsibility of all working and advocating in health care to take seriously the call to educate ourselves about the colonial history of our health sector and the systemic change needed to address anti-Indigenous racism. We invite you to join members of the coalition on this learning journey by registering for our In Plain Sight discussion group on November 2.

UPDATE Workers' mental health in the pandemic

The workplace pressures of working through a global pandemic have seriously impacted the mental health of many front line workers and health care professionals. Far too many workers cannot access the mental health supports they need. As a result, burnout, resignations and extended leaves of absence are hollowing out the workforce in essential sectors that are already understaffed.

On October 21, the BC Health Coalition is bringing together a panel of frontline workers from health care, community social services, retail, and other sectors. Tune in to hear their experiences and find out what you can do to support workers' mental health. Click here to learn more and to register.

TAKE ACTION 10 Paid Sick Days for BC

The B.C. government has called for feedback on what the minimum standard should be for employer-paid sick days. Will you take 3 minutes to take the 3-question survey and tell the province you want to see a minimum of 10 paid sick days in B.C.? Click here to take the survey.

Recent polling shows that 86% of British Columbians support a minimum of 10 paid sick days as a basic right of employment. Read economist Alex Hemingway’s case for this approach HERE.

OPINION How can we start to make Canada’s long-term care homes about care, not profit?

"Three in five Canadians believe for-profit care for our elders should be reduced or phased out entirely. During this federal election, most political partis have raised the urgency of improving eldercare, and rightfully so. But the importance of phasing out profit-driven seniors’ care has not received the attention it deserves” Read more about the why and the how of phasing out profit in long-term care in this month’s Policy Options piece by Jackie Brown, Amit Arya, and Andrew Longhurst.


  • Private clinics are not a long-term solution to the inefficiencies in BC’s surgical system. With many non-essential surgeries being postponed due to COVID-19, Island Health has been making miscalculated moves to contract out pre- and post-op care to private an investor-owned clinics. Overall, experts say this will increase wait times and make the situation worse. Read more HERE.
  • Victoria is creating a pilot project to send civilian responders in place of police to some mental health calls. The Peer-Assisted Crisis Team is based on a model from Oregon with 30 years of demonstragted success.COVID-19 has highlighted the damage done when governments fail to gather information on policy impacts. Read more HERE.
  • Mental Health Response Teams Yield Better Outcomes Than Police In NYC, Data Shows. "This is great news. A smarter approach to public health and public safety. A smarter use of resources. And the evidence — from Denver to New York — shows that responding with care works". Read more HERE.
  • With the Delta variant on the rise, this month’s return to school has brought a wave of efforts to keep students, their families, and teachers safe. An op-ed in the Tyee earlier this month outlined the public health measures needed in schools, while parents and teachers have continued to protest classroom overcrowding. The Vancouver School Board has voted to extend the mask mandate to cover all students K-12, yet the provincial health officer has maintained its mask mandate which applies only to students in grades 4-12.
  • Scientific evidence increasingly shows that COVID-19 transmission is airborne and that N95 and KN95 masks are effective in slowing its spread, yet the BC Ministry of Health has failed to emphasize that airborne transmission is the main mode for catching the virus. Two of the world’s leading scientists on COVID-19 transmission have criticized BC’s position on airborne transmission as “misguided”. Read more HERE.
  • Violence against health care workers is being called a silent epidemic in researchers’ new book. The main targets of this violence are women and racialized workers. Learn more and read an excerpt from Code White: Sounding the Alarm on Violence Against Health-Care Workers HERE.
  • In order to repair long-term care, Canada needs higher care standards, not accreditation, and more transparency about how public money is spent. Read The Philanthropist Journal’s deep dive into the issue HERE.

HERE to donate 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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