B.C. Health System


British Columbia’s health system is a publicly funded system, directed by the Ministry of Health, and delivered primarily by the province’s six health authorities and health care professionals. This section provides an overview of roles within B.C.’s health care system from the perspectives of health authorities, health care professionals and patients.

Conversation on Health. About Your Health System. 2006.

Available from:

Ministry of Health. 2006/07-2008/09 Service Plan. 2006.

Available from:

Health Geography


British Columbia’s health boundaries are comprised of three nested levels of spatial aggregation: Health Authorities, Health Service Delivery Areas, and Local Health Areas.

At the highest level are British Columbia’s Health Authorities (HAs), which plan and coordinate services regionally. The five geographic Health Authorities are:

  • Interior Health Authority
  • Fraser Health Authority
  • Vancouver Coastal Health Authority (VCH)
  • Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA)
  • Northern Health Authority (NH)

A sixth Health Authority, the Provincial Health Services Authority, oversees the entire province and works with the five geographic Health Authorities to plan and coordinate the delivery of provincial programs and highly specialized services.

I think we should clarify the difference between a geographic Health Area and the governance based Health Authorities.

Within each geographic Health Authority is a set of Health Service Delivery Areas (HSDAs):

  • Interior Health Authority
  • Thompson/Cariboo Shuswap
  • Okanagan
  • Kootenay Boundary
  • East Kootenay
  • Fraser Health Authority
  • Fraser East
  • Fraser North
  • Fraser South
  • Vancouver Coastal Health Authority
  • Richmond
  • Vancouver
  • North Shore/Coast Garibaldi
  • Vancouver Island Health Authority
  • North Island
  • Central Island
  • South Island
  • Northern Health Authority
  • Northwest
  • Northern Interior
  • Northeast

(See Figure 1 for a map of boundaries.)

At the lowest level, B.C. is comprised of 89 Local Health Areas (LHAs) which are shown in Figure 2.

Health Analyst Toolkit DRAFT v0 1 01 1024

Figure 1 – Health Authorities and Health Service Delivery Areas Map

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