Submitted by Dr. Stuart Johnston and Krystal Wong
We would like to express our thanks with all those who have been a part of our process and for helping us reaching out to rural communities across BC.
Two and a half years after its inception, the RCCbc Site Visit project has reached its half-way point with over 100 rural BC communities visited.
101 Rural Subsidiary Agreement (RSA) communities representing all corners of the province have been visited, more than 350 meetings with the Health Care partners recorded and over 4,000 pages of valuable transcribed feedback generated.
This represents quite a significant milestone with the numerous connections made with communities across the province and the volume of effort that has gone into this project.
The growth of the project has necessitated the development of a team of 9 RCCbc members and 20 Site Visitors to coordinate the planning and engagement to meet with the Health Care Partners. It has been a large undertaking with rich information coming back from those at the grassroots of rural health care in BC.
This has been a fascinating learning experience; getting to know the geography of our province, the day to day issues of those serving the citizens of rural BC, the successes and the roadblocks. The desire of all the health care providers to deliver the best service possible to their communities within the limitations they face has been very evident. It has become increasingly clear that these providers must have a leading role in deciding on the future of rural health care. They know the local issues, what works, and what will not.
The RCCbc reports back to the JSC, the community Health Care Partners we have spoken to, and others who have benefitted from Erika Belanger’s management and interpretation of the large body of information we have already gathered.
As we head into the second half of the project we will be visiting more of the very small and remote communities. Many of these will be First Nations communities. This will greatly add to the information we have and opens the door for possible collaboration with the FNHA who are interested to hear back from the communities about their health care issues.
Finally, we’d like to acknowledge all those who have made the project a success:
- The JSC who saw fit to improve relationships with the rural communities and commit significant funding to the project.
- The RCCbc Directors who have ensured that the staffing and logistical support was available.
- The Site Visitors from around the province who have given up their time to lead the visits.
But most importantly, we’d like to thank the RCCbc team, who have done extraordinary work in reaching out to all of the Health Care Partners in each community and then pulling together itineraries that have included up to seven meetings per community. They’ve done this efficiently, and in a manner in which has had a very positive impact on relationships between the RCCbc and rural communities of BC.
We look forward to the next 100 communities of the Rural Site Visits project!