Profiles of Public Health Systems in Canada: British Columbia
The Profiles of Public Health Systems in Canada are part of a research project titled Platform to Monitor the Performance of Public Health Systems, led by Principal Investigators Dr. Sara Allin, Dr. Andrew Pinto and Dr. Laura Rosella from the University of Toronto. The project involves the participation of knowledge users, collaborators and an inter-disciplinary team of scholars from across Canada, and aims to develop a platform to compare public health system performance across Canada. To achieve this aim, the project comprises three phases:
- Produce detailed descriptions of the public health financing, governance, organization, and workforce in each of the 13 provinces and territories using a literature review with results validated by decision makers.
- Conduct a set of comparative in-depth case studies examining implementation and outcomes of reforms, and their impacts on responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Define indicators of public health system performance with structure, process, and outcome measures.
The National Collaborating Centre for Healthy Public Policy (NCCHPP) joined the research project working group in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, and is now proud to publish their work as a series of 13 Canadian Public Health System Profiles, with supplementary methodological materials. The series of public health system profiles are available on the NCCHPP website at: https://ccnpps-ncchpp.ca/profiles-of-public-health-systems-in-canadian-provinces-and-territories/.
As Canada deals with the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the biggest public health challenges of our time, the need to strengthen public health systems has never been greater. Strong public health (PH) systems are vital to ensuring health system sustainability, improving population health and health equity, and preparing for and responding to current and future crises. There are considerable variations across provinces and territories in how public health is organized, governed and financed, as well as in how public health systems have been reformed and restructured in recent years. This report builds upon prior reports and describes British Columbia's public health system prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, including its organization, governance, financing, and workforce. It is part of a series of 13 public health system profiles that provide foundational knowledge on the similarities and differences in the structures of public health systems across provinces and territories. In addition to summarizing what is known, these profiles also draw attention to variations and gaps to inform future priorities. This series will serve as a reference for public health professionals, researchers, students, and decision makers seeking to strengthen public health infrastructure in Canada.