The BC Rural Health Network is sponsoring a petition to Remove Financial Barriers for Rural British Columbians Seeking Healthcare Services

We call on the British Columbia Premier and Cabinet to present this petition to the Legislative Assembly and bring forward legislation that removes financial barriers to health services caused when rural residents require care away from home. Signing this petition signifies your support for legislation that removes barriers to accessing health care for rural residents.

Why is this important?
In a survey gathering data from 2017 to 2020, the Centre for Rural Health Research reports that the average total out-of-pocket costs for 381 BC patients accessing health care outside their home community was $2234 per patient and 78% of survey respondents reported difficulty in paying these costs. The full report is available at the following link: 
Too many rural British Columbians have suffered for far too long as a result of this situation. The severity of the problem is now clearly evident and the BC Rural Health Network calls on all BC residents to sign this petition calling on local and provincial policy makers to take action immediately to correct it.

To sign, click on Remove Financial Barriers for Rural British Columbians Seeking Healthcare Services


Join us in calling on the federal government to bring homes into public hands, provide a coordinated seniors’ care strategy to be implemented in all provinces and territories, and ensure all seniors’ home workers have all the support, tools and equipment they need.
To sign, click on:

I call on the federal government to act urgently to ensure all seniors have the care they need by:
Working with provinces to bring all long-term care homes into
public hands under the Canada Health Act.
Creating a coordinated seniors’ care strategy to be implemented in
all provinces and territories that puts protections in place for
seniors in these homes.
Ensuring all seniors’ care home workers have the support, tools
and personal protective equipment they need to safely provide
People are always more important than profits. Caring for seniors and their caregivers is an essential part of our health care system that requires strong public oversight and funding. We can afford to treat them better.


Council of Canadians joins with national organizations in call for pharmacare

The Council of Canadians joined with the Canadian Health Coalition and other national and regional organizations to send a joint letter to the Prime Minister, the Minister of Health and the Minister of Finance to call for immediate federal government action to implement universal, public pharmacare.

The need for national pharmacare has never been more urgent. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, one in five Canadians had either no drug coverage at all or had inadequate coverage. That number has increased significantly during the pandemic, with millions of people losing their jobs and their employer-sponsored drug plans.

To sign, click on: Take action for Pharmacare


Seniors Deserve Better

Study after study has confirmed that seniors in for-profit care receive inferior support and suffer worse health outcomes compared to those in publicly-funded or non-profit alternatives. That’s because the profit motive inherent in private systems is directly at odds with spending money on things like adequate staffing or decent pay and benefits.

Right now, 79 per cent Canada’s COVID-19 deaths are connected to long-term care facilities and make up the majority of deaths in B.C.

The good news is that repairing seniors’ care in our province has already begun. In 2019 the BC NDP transitioned all home support workers – those working in the community – from private contracts back into direct government employment. The BCGEU had long called for this change and you can read more about it hereThis was an important and timely achievement but now we need to do the same in residential care.

To sign the petition, click on Seniors Deserve Better


Long-term care is in crisis – and it has been for years. Decades of underfunding, understaffing, and a focus on profit instead of care have left the system tragically unprepared for the health crisis we’re facing with COVID-19. 

It is time to recognize long-term care for what it is: health care. And it’s time for the government to start treating long-term care the same way, by making it an accessible, publicly funded, and universal service just like visiting a hospital or a family doctor.

Our seniors and long-term care residents deserve a care system that puts their needs first. Long-term care workers deserve a living wage, benefits, and a safe and secure job. All Canadians deserve national standards of care and stable funding so that residents and workers in long-term care homes can be safe and healthy and live with dignity.

Visit to send your letter to the Prime Minister.


New research by the Toronto Star found that seniors living in for-profit care homes are four times more likely to die from the virus than seniors in public homes. [1] Study after study shows these offer inferior care because they’re designed to maximize profits — not seniors’ health.[2][3]

The virus has exposed the gaps in our long-term care system — where homes that should be providing seniors the dignity they deserve in their final years, are instead the subject of daily horror stories. 

Now, as the government looks for long term solutions to recover from the pandemic, we can either make seniors care part of our public healthcare system — where living and working conditions meet the standard of care we expect for our parents, grandparents, even ourselves — or continue to fail seniors with a broken system and devastating results.

If you think seniors care should be a part of universal healthcare instead of a for-profit business , click on Seniors Care should not be driven by Profit


As a member of the BC Health Coalition, the BC Rural Health Network receives regular updates and information from the BC Health Coalition. Their most recent information in the form of a request is shared below.

Now is the time to let Health Minister Dix and the BC government know that we want public health care solutions to surgical wait times. Earlier this month, the government announced plans to deal with the biggest surgical backlog in our history.  It includes some commitments to bold public solutions, but also worrying plans to expand the use of for-profit surgical clinics.

By sending an email to Health Minister Dix, we can ask the government to continue to be bold and implement already proven public solutions that build the public capacity of our health care system at this critical time. Click HERE to send the email. 

Some more information: In the 3 years prior to the pandemic, BC’s government made significant progress in reducing surgical wait times by increasing public surgical capacity and expanding the use of efficient best practices. These improvements helped reduce wait times for all British Columbians. However with the COVID Surgical Renewal Plan, public funding is now being redirected to private clinics in hopes of a quick, temporary fix to the surgical backlog. This funding would be better spent in continuing to expand and enhance public surgery resources to help reduce wait times for everyone on a permanent basis. 

We are calling on the government to to scale up proven public surgery efficiencies including: 

  • Optimize public hospital capacity before contracting out procedures to for-profit clinics;
  • Scale up the five hip and knee central intake and team-based rapid access clinics, announced in 2018;
  • Increase OR efficiencies like the Richmond Hip and Knee Reconstruction Project by improving the scheduling of surgeries and recovery beds;
  • Streamline waitlists by moving them from individual surgeons’ offices to centralized health authority waitlists;
  • Improve access to seniors’ home and community care, which can reduce hospital use.

Now, more than ever, is the time to focus our efforts on improving and expanding capacity in the public system, implementing team-based care models that are proven effective, and addressing  staff shortages among all health care providers required to work down the backlog.

Send your email to the Minister now by clicking HERE

Together we can get through this. Let’s strengthen our public health care system now to ensure that we can get through any future crisis.

Thank you, and stay safe.

Edith Machattie
BC Health Coalition Co-Chair

P.S. If you have already sent an email to Health Minister Dix, thank you for taking action! We invite you to forward this message to your friends, family, and network to amplify the action you’ve taken to strengthen public health care.


Support the new joint statement on pharmacare

Canadian organizations are invited to sign a statement calling for the federal to immediately start implementing universal, public pharmacare.

Canada needs pharmacare now more than ever given the devastating impact of the COVID crisis. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, 20% of Canadian households were struggling to pay for their medication. The mass layoffs triggered by the pandemic have now left millions more people without work-based drug plans.


Final Report of the Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare: