Health Authority: Overview

The province's six health authorities are the organizations primarily responsible for health service delivery. Five regional health authorities deliver health services to meet the needs of the population within their respective geographic regions:

  • Fraser Health Authority (FHA)
  • Interior Health Authority (IHA)
  • Northern Health Authority (NHA)
  • Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA)
  • Vancouver Coastal Health Authority (VCHA)

A sixth health authority, the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA), is responsible for managing the quality, coordination, accessibility and cost of certain province-wide health care programs and services. Agencies managed by PHSA include the BC Cancer Agency, Cardiac Services BC, BC Centre for Disease Control and BC Transplant.

Each health authority must ensure its planning, business operations and service delivery activities are aligned with government direction; and that, in conducting its affairs, it achieves its mandate and performance expectations as well as the goals of government. In 2011/12, the four goals that guided the British Columbia health system were:

  1. effective health promotion, prevention and self management to improve health and wellness for British Columbians;
  2. British Columbians have the majority of their health needs met by high quality primary and community based health care and support services;
  3. British Columbians have access to high quality hospital care services when needed; and
  4. improved innovation, productivity and efficiency in the delivery of health services.

Exhibit 13 shows the expenditures incurred by the health authorities over the last four fiscal years.

Health authorities earned revenue of $12.6 billion and incurred expenses of $12.6 billion for the 2011/12 fiscal year.

Although the Ministry of Health is the largest source of revenue for the health authorities, health authorities earn revenue from a number of different sources including parking, fees and licenses, the federal government, foundations and research contributions. Please see the following pages for more information.

Exhibit 14 outlines the average expenses incurred on each member of the population that is served by that health authority in 2011/12. In 2011/12, the approximate population served was:

  • VIHA 760,000 people
  • FHA 1.77 million people
  • VCHA 1 million people
  • IHA 740,000 people
  • NHA 280,000 people

The PHSA provides specialized health care as needed for all 4.5 million British Columbians, and includes BC Transplant and the BC Cancer Agency.