Appendix 1

Profiles of British Columbia's Six Health Authorities

British Columbia has six health authorities that, in conjunction with the Ministry of Health, manage and deliver most publicly funded health services in the province. Responsibility for local health services, such as home and hospital care, rests with five regional health authorities. The sixth health authority, the Provincial Health Services Authority, is responsible for providing province-wide specialized services, and for supporting the regional health authorities with their service delivery.

Figure 1: Map of B.C. Health Authorities

Map of B.C. Health Authorities.

Interior Health Authority

Web Address:

2006 Population:4 724,376

The Interior Health Authority serves a large geographic area, which ranges from densely populated to scarcely populated areas. The Health Authority covers a region that stretches from Williams Lake to the U.S. border and from Anahim Lake in the Chilcotin to the Alberta border. The mixture of population density provides challenges to effectively delivering health care services to the region's residents.

4  Population estimates for all Health Authorities obtained from BC STATS. (P.E.O.P.L.E. 31) 2005. Ministry of Labour and Citizens’ Services.

Fraser Health Authority

Web Address:

2006 Population: 1,489,342

The Fraser Health Authority consists of a small geographic area with a high population density. Its borders stretch eastward from Delta to Burnaby to Boston Bar and southward to the U.S. border. Over the past 10 years the Fraser Health Authority has experienced significant population growth and currently represents about 34 per cent of B.C.'s population. This historic and projected population growth, compounded by an aging population has created increased demands for health care services in this region.

Vancouver Coastal Health Authority

Web Address:

2006 Population: 1,049,263

Similar to the Fraser Health Authority, the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority is small in geographic area with a high population density. The Vancouver Coastal Health Authority serves residents in Vancouver, Richmond, the North Shore and communities in the coastal region, including: Squamish and Whistler along the Sea-to-Sky Highway; Gibsons and Sechelt on the Sunshine Coast; and Powell River. Through denominational agreements, the Health Authority, also serves the residents of Bella Bella and Bella Coola and also partners with Providence Health Care in Vancouver.

Vancouver Island Health Authority

Web Address:

2006 Population: 730,363

The Vancouver Island Health Authority serves the residents of Vancouver Island, the Gulf and Discovery Islands and the residents of the mainland located adjacent to the Mount Waddington and Campbell River areas. Almost half of Vancouver Island's population lives in and around the provincial capital of Victoria, at the southern end of Vancouver Island.

Northern Health Authority

Web Address:

2006 Population: 309,771

The Northern Health Authority covers almost two-thirds of B.C., and is bordered by the Northwest and Yukon Territories to the North, and the B.C. interior to the South, and Alberta to the East, and Alaska and the Pacific Ocean to the West. The primary challenge for the Northern Health Authority is to administer and provide quality services across a large, sparsely populated region with significant recruitment and retention issues due to its Northern location.

Provincial Health Services Authority

Web Address:

The Provincial Health Services Authority's primary role is to ensure that B.C. residents have access to a coordinated network of high-quality specialized health care services. The Health Authority operates provincial agencies including BC Children's Hospital, the BC Cancer Agency, the BC Transplant Society, and Riverview Hospital. It is also responsible for specialized provincial health services like trauma and chest surgery, which are delivered in a number of locations in the regional health authorities, as well as specialized programs that operate across several Provincial Health Services Authority agencies.

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