Community Health Centres

March 5, 2019

At our January regular meeting we heard from Colleen Fuller and Dr. John Calvert about the value of Community Health Centres, and why they feel it is crucial that we call upon the government to implement them. 

The issue was followed up at our February meeting and the following recommendation was adopted:

Subject: Community Health Centres

BECAUSE Community Health Centres;

1. Provide Team-Based, Interprofessional Primary Care

In contrast to solo practitioner models, Community Health Centres offer high-quality primary care through a collaborative team approach. Social workers, family physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, dietitians, chiropodists, dental hygienists, therapists and other clinicians provide services in a team environment, based on patient needs,

  1. Integrate services in primary care, health promotion and community wellbeing

Community Health Centres integrate team-based primary care with health promotion programs, illness prevention programs and community health initiatives, in keeping with the World Health Organization’s definition of primary health care,

  1. Are Community-Centred

Factors affecting health and healthcare vary from community to community. That’s why CHCs focus on the most appropriate services and programs for the local community they serve — whether that means a geographical catchment or a community of individuals with common characteristics. CHCs engage members of the community in helping to identify priorities and strategies for services. This includes community needs assessments; client surveys; community advisory groups; and in many instances, a volunteer Board of Directors comprised of community members,

  1. Actively Address Social Determinants of Health

As part of their integrated, comprehensive approach, CHCs support individuals, families and communities to achieve health by actively addressing “social determinants of health” such as poverty, access to shelter/housing, education, language barriers and other factors that have a direct impact on health, including access to appropriate healthcare services. In this way, CHCs help tackle the root causes of illness, working from an “upstream” approach to prevent illness and progression of illness, and

  1. Demonstrate Commitment to Health Equity and Social Justice

CHCs recognize that many differences in health status among segments of the population are socially and institutionally structured. As such, these differences are avoidable and unfair. CHCs work to eliminate these health inequities. CHCs are also committed to social justice, meaning the fair and compassionate distribution of the fruits of economic growth. CHCs advocate for these principles to be embedded within the institutions of society such as taxation, social insurance, public healthcare, public schooling, public services, labour law, and the regulation of markets; and

BECAUSE research from many jurisdictions demonstrates that Community Health Centres provide effective and cost-effective care, achieving important outcomes in improving health and reducing health system costs; and

BECAUSE the Metro Vancouver Alliance, of which the Vancouver and District Labour Council is a founding member, held a public assembly prior to the last provincial election at which they obtained the commitment of NDP leader John Horgan and Green Party leader Andrew Weaver to establish 20 community health centres in BC by 2020; and

BECAUSE this promise has not yet been delivered on, and there is still time to make it happen,

THE VANCOUVER AND DISTRICT LABOUR COUNCIL WILL write to Premier John Horgan, and Green Party leader Andrew Weaver, reminding them of this commitment and urging them to act upon it in consultation with medical professionals, their unions and associations, and with communities; and

THE VANCOUVER AND DISTRICT LABOUR COUNCIL WILL FURTHER support the Metro Vancouver Alliance, the BC Association of Community Health Centres, and others in working toward this aim.

Find out more: Canadian Association of Community Health Centres / BC Association of Community Health Centres

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