About Northern Health
Northern Health provides a full range of health care services to over 285,000 residents of Northern British Columbia. Serving an area of 592,116 square kilometers[i], it is the largest geographic health region in the province covering over two-thirds of British Columbia and comprised largely of rural and remote communities.
The Health Authorities Act[ii] gives Northern Health the legislative authority to develop policies, set priorities, prepare budgets and allocate resources for the delivery of health services under a regional health plan that includes: (i) health services provided in the region, or in a part of the region, (ii) type, size and location of facilities in the region, (iii) programs for delivering health services in the region and (iv) human resources requirements under the regional health plan. Northern Health provides the following health services:
- Acute care services at 18 hospitals[iii] and nine diagnostic and treatment centres;
- Long term care at 13 complex care facilities, and in 10 acute care facilities;[iv]
- Community health services including:
- Home health services to clients in their homes;
- MHSU services, including an extensive network of inpatient, clinic and community services; and
- Population and public health services focusing on health promotion and injury prevention toward the improvement of health for people across the North.
Northern Health works collaboratively with a medical staff comprising of some 250 family physicians and 125 medical and surgical specialists. Northern Health is organized into three Health Service Delivery Areas (HSDAs): Northeast, Northwest, and Northern Interior. Each HSDA is led by a Chief Operating Officer, who has overall responsibility for the operations of the HSDA. Reporting to each Chief Operating Officer are Health Service Administrators, senior managers who handle the day-to-day provision of services in a community cluster. There are currently fifteen Health Service Administrators in Northern Health.
Northern Health is committed to providing health services based in the primary care home and linked to a range of specialized services which support people and their families over the course of their lives, from staying healthy to addressing disease and injury, to end-of-life care. Most northern physicians are appointed to Northern Health’s Medical Staff and have privileges to practice within Northern Health facilities. These physicians are actively engaged in quality improvement and are participating with Northern Health to improve service delivery.
Long term care facilities in the North are operated by Northern Health, with the exception of two[v] operated under contract. Most northern assisted living facilities are operated by non-profit societies, with Northern Health providing personal care support services and nursing care in these settings.
Northern Health leads the way in promoting health and providing health services for Northern and rural populations.
Through the efforts of dedicated staff and physicians, in partnership with communities and organizations, we provide exceptional health services for Northerners.
Value statements guide decisions and actions. We will succeed in our work through:
- Empathy – Seeking to understand each individual’s experience
- Respect – Accepting each person as a unique individual
- Collaboration– Working together to build partnerships
- Innovation – Seeking creating and practical solutions
Priority 1: Healthy People in Healthy Communities
Northern Health will partner with communities to support people to live well and prevent disease and injury.
Priority 2: Coordinated and Accessible Services
Northern Health will provide health services based in a Primary Care Home and linked to a range of specialized services which support each person and their family over the course of their lives, from staying healthy, to addressing disease and injury, to end-of-life care.
Priority 3: Quality
Northern Health will ensure a culture of continuous quality improvement in all areas.
These two priorities cut across all parts of the health care system and are critical for enabling Northern Health to achieve its Strategic Priorities.
Northern Health provides services through its people and will work to have those people in place and to help them flourish in their work.
Communications, Technology, and Infrastructure
Northern Health will implement effective communications systems, and sustain a network of facilities and infrastructure that enables service delivery.
[i] Statistical Profile for Northern Health: 2009. BC Stats:
[ii] Health Authorities Act. Chapter 180 http://www.bclaws.ca/EPLibraries/bclaws_new/document/ID/freeside/00_96180_01
[iii] As at April 1, 2012 there are 525 acute care beds open and in operation
[iv] As at April 1, 2012 there are: 1,062 complex care beds and 35 respite care beds provided in the 23 noted facilities. Also allocated across northern British Columbia are 307 assisted living units
[v] Simon Fraser Lodge operated by Buron Health Care; and complex care beds within Wrinch memorial Hospital Hazelton operated by United Church Health Services and affiliated with Northern Health.