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BC Health Coalition 2017 Conference

October 20, 2017

We’re only two weeks away from the BC Health Coalition 2017 Conference, an exciting two full days of speakers, and workshops. Discussions and topics include seniors care, primary health care, Indigenous health, health organizing, poverty reduction, pharmacare and others. This is a unique opportunity to learn together, strategize and take action to strengthen our public health care system in B.C. Click here to register.

Dates: Friday, October 27th to Saturday, October 28th, 2017
Times: 11 am to 4:30 pm on Friday, 8:30 am to 3:30 pm on Saturday
Location: Jewish Community Centre,  950 41st Ave W, Vancouver, BC V5Z 2N7
Cost: $0-$75 sliding scale. No one will be turned away due to lack of funds.

The Conference Is An Opportunity To…
• Hear from Jenny Morgan, BC Women’s and Children’s Hospitals, and Elder Roberta Price, First Nations educator, speak about empowering Indigenous women and families in health services and healing.

• Learn firsthand from Foundry about an innovative approach that provides an exciting model of care and support that can be learned from and applied to serve other age groups and communities in B.C. Foundry centres provide a one-stop-shop for young people to access mental health care, substance use services, primary care, social services and youth and family peer supports – with a number of new locations recently announced by the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions. 

• Get an insider update from the BC Health Coalition intervenors on the Brian Day legal challenge to public health care on trial now in BC Supreme Court.

• Join an exciting panel discussion on improving urban and rural access to primary health care in B.C. moderated by Marcy Cohen with panellists Colleen Fuller, Dr. Margaret McGregor, and Ed Staples.

• Participate in workshops to learn more the specific issues you care about, and strategize together about how to public health care stronger in B.C. and Canada.

Who Should Attend?

• People from across B.C. who want a voice in building better health care in their communities and province

• Advocates, researchers, and policymakers

• Service providers, caregivers, and organizations who work directly with people accessing health care and social services

to learn more, please visit BC Health Coalition Conference

Quiet Moments

September 22, 2017

Version 2

A resident in our long term care facility likes to eat his lunch in the hallway of the hospital where he can look at a mural. Edwward Staples, President of SOHC, made the ceramic tile mural and donated it to the hospital. The mural depicts an iconic and very familiar place in Princeton.

Petition in support of fair taxes for our docs

September 13, 2017

Proposed changes to federal corporate income tax laws have the potential to destabilize our already fragile health care service.

Dan Albas, our Member of Parliament (Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola), is sponsoring a petition initiated by Dr. Geoffrey Sanz of Kelowna. The following is from an email to SOHC from MP Albas: “I too am very concerned. I have been speaking to MDs and small business owners from across our riding and the country. Obviously any new legislation will be hotly contested by me in Parliament but many people want to help their physician or make their point directly to the Government.”

Please sign the petition in support of our local doctors.

Click here to sign petition


August 24, 2017

Monthly Archives: July 2017
By Art Martens

JULY 30, 2017

Tim Robbins - community Paramedicine

Tim Roberts, Community Paramedic

“I know the name of every person represented by a white cross along the highway,” Tim Roberts told Linda and me last week. As a paramedic, he has been called to the scene of numerous tragic accidents in the Similkameen Valley. When he arrived at our home, he was wearing a uniform representing Community Paramedicine, a new service being offered to local citizens.

Tim and I came to know each other when we worked together in a program for emotionally disturbed youths at the One Way Adventure Foundation in Hedley. After that our paths intersected only occasionally. I was interested in hearing how life circumstances had prepared him for his current challenging role.

“The work in Hedley gave me an opportunity to acquire leadership experience and a better understanding of people,” he said. “By observing one administrator, I learned about management. From a program coordinator I learned about developing relationships. When I made mistakes, I tried to not repeat them. In 1990 I married Vera and at age 26 I became administrator of the organization’s Ashnola Campus, now the site of Ashnola Crossing. I ran a residential program for 10 young probationers. I wanted staff to become involved with our students and help them learn to make wise choices.” Making appropriate choices would become a theme for him in later assignments.

“When the government discontinued that program,” he said “we provided activities for groups seeking wilderness adventure and experience. Vera was head wrangler.”

While they developed new strategies to remain financially afloat, Tim worked nights as a custodian for the Keremeos school district. Then, back at the Camp, after a few hours sleep he would rise early to help in the kitchen. Tim and Vera did facility upgrading, including painting. They cleaned toilets and did whatever was required.
Read more »

Healthcare leaders want drug company payments to doctors made public

August 16, 2017

Letter to federal health minister says more transparency means more trust in the system
By Andrew Foote, CBC News Posted: Aug 11, 2017 1:32 PM ET Last Updated: Aug 11, 2017 1:32 PM ET


A group of Canadian healthcare leaders wants pharmaceutical companies to have to disclose how and why they pay people who prescribe their drugs, saying it would show potential bias and help build trust.
Seventeen people signed an open letter sent to Health Minister Jane Philpott this week, saying Canada should follow the lead of countries such as France, Denmark and the United States, which require pharmaceutical companies tell the government about payments to prescribers as small as $10 US.
• Read the letter here
Dr. Chris Simpson, vice-dean of the Queen’s University medical school in Kingston, Ont., and signee of the letter, said these companies can pitch their products to doctors by hosting them for a lunch and giving a talk about a drug or giving them free samples for patients who couldn’t otherwise afford them.
“I think it’s important to point out these payments aren’t nefarious or bad, it’s just that when payments are made from a drug company to a prescriber who may be prescribing drugs made by that company, that there may be biases introduced,” he said.
“These biases may not even be bad, they just need to be recognized and put into context.”

To read more, please click on the link:

Healthcare leaders want drug company payments to doctors made public

Billing practices of 3 B.C. clinics to be audited

August 12, 2017

Jane Philpott
A tweet by Jane Philpott: We will protect public healthcare so people get the care they need based on how sick they are; not how rich they are.

VANCOUVER — The Globe and Mail
To read the full article, click on the following link:

Billing practices of 3 B.C. clinics subject to audit

Published Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017 3:51PM EDT
Last updated Friday, Aug. 11, 2017 7:32AM EDT

British Columbia has put three private health clinics under audit amid long-standing concerns about the practice of double-dipping, looking at doctors who work in the public system and who also charge some patients extra fees for quicker access to medical care.

Federal Health Minister Jane Philpott and her newly appointed B.C. counterpart, Adrian Dix, say three of the province’s several dozen clinics are being examined for billing patients extra for medically necessary care, a violation of the Canada Health Act.
Read more »

BC government to address upstream causes of poverty and poor health

August 9, 2017

Fulfilling a campaign promise for both the New Democratic and Green parties, Premier John Horgan has announced the restoration of funding for adult basic education and English Language Learning programs in BC.

This is welcome news for organizations like the BC Health Coalition ( and the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition (, who understand that the social determinants of health are strongly influenced by a person’s level of education.

(to expand this image, click on it)

Details of this announcement will be outlined in the September budget update.

Click on the following link to read Katie Hyslop’s article in the August 8 edition of The Tyee:

NDP government adult education promise


To become a member of SOHC, please
email the secretary.
Annual membership is $2.

SOHC Discussion Paper

Developing an Improved and Sustainable Health Care Model for Princeton, B.C
Support Our Health Care has released a discussion paper in order to get feedback from the community, politicians and professionals about the state of local healthcare and what the long term solutions should be.
Download PDF Here