Impact BC

Health Care in British Columbia

There are different organizations and initiatives to improve the healthcare system in British Columbia. The focus is on mental health and home-care initiatives as well as healthcare services.

Funding by the Federal Government

A 10-year agreement has been reached by the federal government and the provincial authorities in 2017. An increase of at least 3 percent would go toward mental health programs, home-care services, senior care, and addictions programs. Under the agreement, $10 million would go toward addiction programming to fight illicit drug use and overdosing. The increase in federal funding will be used for initiatives at the municipal and local level to improve data collection, toxicology services, and lab testing.

Healthcare Foundations, Centers, and Agencies

A number of healthcare foundations, organizations, and institutes operate in British Columbia, including the BC Women's Hospital, the BC Mental Health Foundation, the Children's Hospital Foundation, and others. The Mental Health Foundation, for example, works to support information exchange, treatment, research, and public awareness and understanding. The foundation also endorses initiatives aimed at the reduction and prevention of mental health problems. Funding is offered to support innovative programs and services as well as promising practices. The BC Children's Hospital Foundation works with interested parties such as caregivers, families, children, and entities such as the Children's Hospital Research Institute, the Sunny Hill Health Centre, and the BC Children's Hospital. The hospital foundation focuses on fundraising opportunities, events, and programs to improve the life and health of children and youth in British Columbia. The foundation receives donations from different sources, including corporate and individual gifts and donations, legacy giving, and community, corporate, and employee support. The BC Women's Hospital supports initiatives and fundraising activities that focus on training, education, and research as well as hospital redevelopment. The goal is to develop and implement programs with a focus on better quality of service and service expansion. The foundation also supports initiatives to purchase modern technology, devices, and hospital equipment. The hospital itself specializes in chronic diseases, cervical cancer and breast cancer screening, maternity care, and AIDS and HIV care. The foundation supports initiatives and programs to improve healthcare services for families, newborns, and mothers.

The Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research partners with interested parties and stakeholders such as Health Research BC, the BC Ministry of Health, and others. The goal is to develop and implement programs and initiatives that support multi-jurisdictional research on human health and enhance collaboration between researchers, healthcare professionals, the health authorities, and the government. Priorities include ethics harmonization, patient-oriented research, and knowledge translation. The Pacific Blue Cross is also based in British Columbia and offers support for programs that focus on mental health and chronic illness. The goal is to manage, prevent, and alleviate chronic conditions through special equipment, start-up and pilot projects, and one-time projects. The Pacific Blue Cross also offers support and funding to organizations and foundations that work to improve health among young people, families, and children. Some organizations do not meet the eligibility criteria, including lobbyists and contract fundraisers, competitive sports teams, political parties and organizations, and sectarian and religious organizations.

The St Paul's Foundation in Vancouver, BC works to raise funding for teaching and research projects, equipment, capital projects, and improved patient care. The foundation raises funding for the St. Michael's Centre, Mount Saint Joseph Hospital, Holy Family Hospital, and St. Paul's Hospital, among others. There are different ways to get involved, from volunteering to fundraising events and corporate sponsorships. The foundation welcomes funds in the form of stocks and mutual funds, payroll donations, legacy giving, individual and group donations, as well as tribute giving.

The BC Cancer Agency offers health services to cancer patients, including family and patient counseling, symptom and pain management, screening, and radiation therapy. The agency also provides primary care, follow-up, assessment, and other healthcare services.

Physical and Financial Health Interdependencies

There is a connection or interdependency between physical and financial health and wellbeing. People who are healthy are also more productive at work. Those in the high-income bracket, on the other hand, have more money for a healthy lifestyle, organic food, spa, etc.

Poor Financial Health and Health Problems

Financial health means that you have the freedom to spend and make choices without borrowing excessively. People with higher incomes also have financial security in emergency situations such as rough times and periods in business, ill health, prolonged illness, job loss, etc. What is more financial health has a profound impact on health and well-being. A recent survey of 2015 confirmed this. The survey shows that for over 80 percent of participants, it was easier to focus on long- and short-term goals when they were in good financial health. Some 70 percent of respondents also felt that financial security was an important factor to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

There is more to the impact of financial security on physical health. Good socioeconomic status is measured by different factors such as income and educational level as well as how people use and feel about money and the resources they have at hand. Regardless of income level, when people feel stressed or worried about money issues, this can affect their health. There are related questions such as whether sources of income are stable, secure, and consistent or it is a seasonal job or irregular income. In times of economic crisis or emergency situations, people with irregular incomes feel stressed about money issues. Stress, on the other hand, affects health, both physical health and emotional wellbeing. Money problems can have a profound impact on health and often cause anxiety and depression. Physical symptoms include heart problems, hypertension, and insomnia or lack of sleep. Financial problems can cause loss of self-esteem and feelings of helplessness and hopelessness which also affect health.

Finally, people in the low-income bracket have higher rates of health problems such as stroke, diabetes, heart diseases, and other serious and chronic conditions. The same goes for health problems such as vision and hearing troubles, arthritis, liver and kidney disease, and ulcers. Low-income persons are also more likely to develop chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and coronary heart disease. Infant mortality rates are also higher for children born to mothers with low incomes. Life expectancy is also shorter for people with a low income. This is because they are less able to buy health insurance and pay for healthcare services.

How Poor Physical Health Affects Performance

Good physical health and emotional wellbeing mean increased productivity and motivation at the workplace. Prolonged illness and disability, on the other hand, often mean loss of employment or ability to work during extended periods. Poor physical health also affects emotional wellbeing. Diminished worker health impairs productivity, whether it is migraine, allergy, heart disease, or anything else. Poor health often results in loss of employment because of impaired or poor performance and absenteeism. It is also true, however, that work and the work environment also affect health. Stress on the job, long work hours, less sleep, and junk food increase the risk of developing different health conditions. The same goes for people who work shifts. Lack of sleep, extended work hours, and working shifts often result in low productivity and then work is actually a health hazard. Sleep deprivation and exhaustion also have a profound effect on health and often result in slowed response and poor performance, low motivation, irritability, and mood swings and disruptions.