Patients as Partners

Patients as partners in B.C. is a collaborative effort of patients and families, health authorities, health care providers, universities, non-profit organizations, the Ministry of Health and other organizations in the province.

It is a philosophy where patients, families and caregivers are partners in health care, supported and encouraged to participate in:

  • their own care;
  • decision-making about that care;
  • choosing their level of participation in decision-making;
  • quality improvement; and,
  • health care redesign

Introduced in the 2007 Primary Health Care Charter, patients as partners in B.C. uses patient and public engagement best practices and principles for health care quality improvements. It also supports the priorities laid out in Setting Priorities for the B.C. Health System, which sets out the broad strategy and future direction of B.C.’s health care system.

Patient Voices Network B.C.

The Patient Voices Network B.C. matches patients, family and caregiver volunteers who want to voice their ideas to health care providers and administrators who want to hear the patient experience.

Open Letter to Patient Partners and Stakeholders

Over the past few weeks, the Ministry of Health has heard from numerous Patient Voices Network friends and volunteers regarding the transition of the network and how next steps would unfold. We valued this feedback, the passion with which it was delivered and the time taken to do so. There is no doubt that we all share the same goal of a patient-centred health system in which patients are engaged as equal partners.

Moving forward, the Ministry of Health will be partnering with the BC Patient Safety & Quality Council to continue the work of the Patient as Partners and the Patient Voices Network. The BC Patient Safety & Quality Council supports B.C.’s health system to improve the quality of care that it provides to patients. The council receives its mandate from and is accountable to the Minister of Health, while operating at arms-length.

This solution was suggested by patients, and we believe the council is well-suited for this role. Part of its mandate includes engaging British Columbians in their own care, and central to its mission is the belief that a patient-centred and inclusive approach is essential to improving quality of care. To learn more about the council, visit:

The Patient Voices Network is a critical part of the ministry’s Patients as Partners strategy. I am grateful to everyone who contacted me and joined our webinars to provide feedback on this process and ideas to move forward. Your passion for its well-being has reinforced to me that when patients are equal partners, the future of our province’s health system is bright.

In order to continue receiving communications as a network member, please visit: You will be asked to indicate whether you wish to be a friend or activated patient partner, and to provide your contact information. These details will be held by the BC Patient Safety & Quality Council.

We will keep you updated and involved as we move forward. I have arranged a webex/teleconference session for Tuesday, Dec. 1st from 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

Again, I appreciate your patience, as well as your suggestions and advice as we navigate through the transition.


Doug Hughes
Assistant Deputy Minister
Ministry of Health