The BC Rural Health Network (BCRHN) consists of healthcare advocacy organizations working in cooperation with healthcare policymakers. The purpose of the Network is to promote and support a health services system that improves and sustains the health and well-being of residents of rural communities across British Columbia.

Our goals include the following:

  • to share successful strategies in an effort to address rural healthcare concerns
  • to advocate for policy changes that provide all rural residents with attachment to a health care practitioner
  • to identify areas of research aimed at improving access to healthcare in rural communities and to provide fertile ground for research to take place
  • to inform the BC Ministry of Health of rural healthcare concerns
  • to recommend solutions for the improvement of services to rural BC residents
  • to work in partnership with other provincial organizations to influence policy changes that improve access to healthcare services
  • to recognize the healthcare concerns of indigenous communities and include their issues and concerns as part of our work
  • to improve access to mental health services
  • to promote patient-centred, community-based primary healthcare reform

Membership is open to any organization or individual that supports the purpose and goals of the BCRHN.

Community Organization
Ashcroft – Wellness and Health Action Coalition (WHAC)
Blind Bay – South Shuswap Health Services Society
Castlegar – Castlegar & District Hospital Foundation
Castlegar – City of Castlegar Mayor and Council
Chase – Chase & District Health Services Foundation
East Shore Kootenay Lake – Community Health Society
Fort Nelson – Northern Rockies Seniors Society
Fort St. John – Save Our Northern Seniors (SONS)
Fraser Lake – Autumn Seniors Services Society
Hornby/Denman Island – Community Healthcare Society
Kaslo and Area D – Health Care Select Committee
Langley – BC Association of Community Response Networks
Nanaimo – Jane Osborne/BC Ass of Community Response Networks
Nelson – Age Friendly Community Initiative
Nelson – Community First Health and Education Centre
Nelson – Nelson Area Society for Health (NASH)
Oliver – RCCbc liaison Stuart Johnston
Port Alberni – Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council Nursing Services
Powell River – Powell River Voices
Princeton – Support Our Health Care (SOHC)
Prince George – Native Friendship Welcome Centre
Roberts Creek/Sunshine Coast – Johanna Trimble
Salt Spring Island – UBC/Centre for Rural Health Research/RER – Jude Kornelsen
Salt Spring Island – Salt Spring Island Community Health Services
Sicamous District – Eagle Valley Community Support Society
Sicamous – Municipality of Sicamous
Slocan – Slocan Chamber of Commerce Health Committee
Sorrento – Sorrento and Area Community Health Centre Society
Trail – Society for Protection and Care of Seniors (SCPS)
Village of New Denver – Mayor and Council/Select Health Committee
Village of Silverton – Mayor and Council
Village of Slocan – Mayor and Council

Individual Board members of the  BC Rural Health Network taking the pledge for Cultural Safety and Humility at our two day Board Retreat in Sicamous, September 14/15, 2019. We developed a strategic plan that will guide our actions for the coming year and beyond, and came to agreement on seven broad tasks with working groups assigned to each. 
From left to right: Elaine Storey, Curt Firestone, Colin Moss, James Lesley, Nienke Klaver, Pam Beech; sitting: Ed Staples.

Review of Family Medicine Within Rural and Remote Canada: Education, Practice and Policy

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Patients searching for family doctor at new Langford care centre leave disappointed

Confusion on day one of urgent primary care centre

CTV Vancouver Island 
Published Monday, November 5, 2018 1:51PM PST 
Last Updated Monday, November 5, 2018 6:30PM PST

There was confusion on opening day of a new urgent primary care facility on the West Shore Monday morning.
More than a dozen people waited in line before the Westshore Urgent Primary Care Centre opened its doors for the first time at 8 a.m.
But some of those people were frustrated to learn that they would not be able to find a new family doctor at the centre – at least for now.

“It’s just purely an urgent care walk-in clinic,” said Wendy Wilson. “I asked if there was a waiting list, no they don’t have a waiting list. I asked if they knew when the prospective pod is going to open for doctors, the answer was no, they don’t know that but it won’t be until the new year for sure.”

Wilson said she was hoping to find a family doctor for her three-year-old grandson as well as herself.”I had a brain tumour taken out a year ago June, and I’m getting older. I need care,” she said.
When it was announced early last week, the province said the new urgent primary care facility in Langford would better connect locals with health care providers.

Such facilities are meant to consolidate multiple health care providers, services and other programs to employ “team-based” care, meaning doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners and other professionals work in conjunction with one another.

A total of 10 urgent primary care centres are expected to be opened in B.C. in the next 10 years. Facilities have already been announced for Surrey, Quesnel and Kamloops.

Langford Mayor Stew Young welcomed the new care centre saying about one-third of West Shore’s population do not have a family doctor.

The province says the new West Shore facility will eventually be able to accommodate 128 patients per day and up to 40,000 visits a year.

But for now, it appears a few residents will have to wait until next year to find a general practitioner.

“I would say a third of the people that were in this line-up were not here for care for today, they were looking for a doctor,” said Wilson. “I was hopeful. Foolish of me, but I was hopeful.”

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