Your monthly update from the BC Health Coalition

State of BC Health r1 BC Health

Your February 2023 monthly update from the
BC Health Coalition


B.C. isn’t a poster child for privatized health care

During the Throne Speech on February 6, 2023, B.C. Lieutenant Governor Janet Austin stated, “Some jurisdictions are pushing for more privatization, allowing the wealthiest to buy their way to the front of the line. Make no mistake, that doesn't fix the line. It would only lead to more costs and longer lines for the rest of us.” Premier Eby has indicated that his government will be looking to use public models to increase health care system capacity rather than expanding the use of for-profit clinics. That is good news if Eby’s government follows through. If it does, then B.C. can show the... other provinces that it’s not the poster child for privatization. Rather, B.C. can be a leader in reinvesting into its public health care system. Read more HERE.


Join the Canadian Health Coalition at Parliament Hill

The Canadian Health Coalition is organizing a Parliament Hill Lobby for Public Health Care on March 27-29, 2023. Join the lobby to demand the Canadian government expand our public system to include universal pharmacare, public dental care, safe long-term care, and investments to support frontline health care workers. Canadians don’t want more privatization, for-profit clinics, and a two-tiered system that benefits the wealthy over everyone else. More information and registration details HERE.


Telus injunction is a critical step in defending public health care

The B.C. government’s decision to seek an injunction against Telus Health’s LifePlus program. is welcome. The program is part of a worrisome incursion of corporations looking to profit from patients, especially vulnerable patients like seniors, while eroding our public health care system by siphoning public resources into the for-profit system. The provincial government must continue vigorously defending public health care by responding to patient complaints and proactively investigating violations, in addition to the courts. At the same time, the government must address the gaps in primary care that have created opportunities for Telus and other for-profits to exploit. Read more HERE.


Increased federal and provincial investment needed in Community Health Centres to ensure more B.C. residents can access primary care

The Canadian Association of Community Health Centres and the BC Association of Community Health Centres along with affiliated associations and Community Health Centres recently called on the Premiers and Prime Minister to incorporate dedicated resources for increasing access to primary health care through expansion of Community Health Centres (CHCs). This call comes in light of the recent meeting between the federal government and provinces to negotiate an agreement for health care funding. CHCs are specifically designed to reduce barriers to primary care so they are an integral part of tackling the primary care access crisis in BC and Canada-wide. Watch an interview with Yaning Yang from Umbrella Multicultural Health Co-Op to learn about the need for increased federal and provincial investment in Community Health Centres throughout B.C. HERE.


Join your regional and provincial Family Council Association

Family_Council_Blog_Post_(1).pngIn November of last year, the B.C. government took the positive step of implementing new regulation that strengthen the position of Family Councils in long-term care (LTC) homes. This comes after years of advocacy by LTC residents and their families. Family Councils now play a key role in LTC homes by giving residents’ families and representatives a collective voice in decisions that affect them and their loved ones in care at the local level (facility operator), at the regional level (health authority), and at the provincial level (Ministry of Health). To make sure this new regulation is put into practice, health authorities and Ministry of Health must continue working with regional associations of Family Councils as well as the Independent Long-Term Care Councils Association of BC (ILTCCABC) that represent the important collective voice of residents, their families, and residents’ representatives. Read more about the ILTCCABC HERE. Nola Galloway, President of ILTCCABC, has also written a detailed summary of the new regulation and its impacts HERE.

February is Black History Month

This month of observance is intended to highlight Black experiences and excellence, while also recognizing the ongoing systemic oppression and racism that Black individuals face. In honour of this month, we are dropping the usual round-up of general public health news in this section to focus on Black History Month relevant health news, updates, and resources.

Incredible Black Women Who Are Changing Canadian Health Care Not only are Black doctors and health care workers underrepresented within the field, but they also face barriers on the job like racial bias and microaggressions. Yet during the pandemic—which disproportionately affected Black communities—these women stepped up to ensure that Black Canadians had equitable access to care and medical services.

Nurses experiencing anti-black racism in the workplace Our respondents strongly believed that urgent actions are needed to address the pervasive negative beliefs and connotations nurses and the public hold about their melanated skin. Thus, we urge everyone to recognize that while our skin colour is rooted in genetics, our experiences in society are not. Our experiences are manifestations of the profoundly racist divisive societies we live in, and we must all work together to dismantle them. As noted by one of our respondents, "we are human beings with feelings just like anybody else."

Black Cross Nurses in Nova Scotia in danger of being forgotten An auxiliary group of the UNIA (United Negro Improvement Association), the Black Cross Nurses first began in American chapters around the time of the Spanish flu pandemic. The first UNIA chapters started in Cape Breton in 1918 (Glace Bay) and 1919 (Whitney Pier) but it is unknown when the Black Cross Nurses locally formed or disbanded. A way for women to join the fraternal UNIA organization, the Black Cross Nurses provided public health duties like disease prevention and hygiene education. They also visited people who were ill or injured at home and did homecare visits to new mothers, helping with housework and childcare.

B.C. government making 'inadequate progress' in tackling anti-Black racism, report says After a six-month long consultation with members of B.C.'s Black community, the Black in British Columbia report found a relatively low representation of people of African descent in the professions of medicine, nursing, teaching, and politics, as well as low representation in leadership and decision-making positions across organizations.

Health care recommendations in the People of African Descent Action Plan for BC The Black in BC Community Convener Project convened by the African Arts and Cultural Community Contributor Services (AACCCS) and supported by the B.C. Provincial Government released an action plan with recommendations to tackle anti-Black racism in B.C. health care. These recommendations include improving anti-racism accountability, deepening Black representation in health services, and improving access to health services for people of African descent.

Working while Black These videos produced by the Taibu Community Health Centre reveal how anti-Black racism on the job can manifests itself—creating a hostile environment that brings about daily psychological and physical distress. Work like this underscores how Community Health Centres like TAIBU, which serves the Black community across the GTA as its priority population, can support equity-deserving groups.

Underserved and over-judged: How bias can rob people of colour of cancer care Everyone deserves to access life-saving medicine, and Canada’s health-care system goes a long way in ensuring that cancer patients do not need to go bankrupt in order to be treated. But it’s clear that money is not the only barrier stopping Canadians from leading full and healthy lives. The experiences of Black, Indigenous and POC cancer survivors serve as a sober reminder that sometimes conquering cancer isn’t the only obstacle.

Black nurses in B.C. face `entrenched and pervasive’ racism, survey finds But many shared experiences, like being dismissed by superiors, having few opportunities for promotion or being scapegoated for mistakes made by non-Black colleagues, came up again and again, de Sousa said. Ninety-three per cent of survey respondents were women, and three-quarters were born outside Canada, meaning intersecting sexism, racism and xenophobia further worsen the harm they experience. “Those experiences have significant impacts for respondents’ personal and professional lives, and have long-lasting traumas too,” de Sousa added.

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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. Or you can give monthly by 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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