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British Columbia is Canada’s most westerly province, and is a mountainous area whose population is mainly clustered in its southwestern corner. BC is Canada’s third-largest province after Québec and Ontario, making up 10 per cent of Canada’s land surface.

British Columbia is a land of diversity and contrast within small areas. Coastal landscapes, characterized by high, snow-covered mountains rising above narrow fjords and inlets, contrast with the broad forested upland of the central interior and the plains of the northeast.

The intense “Britishness” of earlier times is referred to in the province’s name, which originated with Queen Victoria and was officially proclaimed in 1858.

Health system

The British Columbia government runs the Medical Services Plan, which pays for most health costs, such as doctors, medical tests and treatments. The government’s Fair Pharmacare program provides assistance, tied to a family’s net income, with the cost of eligible prescription drugs and medical supplies, as well as dispensing fees.

BC has six health authorities, five of which service various regions within the province. The sixth is the Provincial Health Services Authority, which operates provincial agencies such as the BC Children’s Hospital, BC Cancer Agency and BC Transplant, and ensures that residents of the province have access to specialized health care services.

These health authorities operate under the guidance of the Ministry of Health, which sets province-wide goals, standards and performance agreements.



Tourism British Columbia

To find other repertoires related to specific health care in British Columbia, see also our page Index in the Tools section


British Columbia Touristic Regions

Vancouver Coast & Mountains

Vancouver Island

Thompson Okanagan

Kootenay Rockies

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast

Northern BC


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