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Office of the Provincial Health Officer

The PHO is the senior public health official for BC, and is responsible for monitoring the health of the population of BC and providing independent advice to the Ministers and public officials on public health issues.

The responsibilities of the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) are outlined in the Public Health Act. As the senior public health official for British Columbia, the PHO:

  • provides independent advice to the Ministers and public officials on public health issues;
  • monitors the health of the population of British Columbia and advises, in an independent manner, the Ministers and public officials on public health issues and on the need for public health related legislation, policies and practices;
  • recommends actions to improve health and wellness in BC;
  • delivers reports that are in the public interest and annual reports on the health of the population and government’s progress in achieving population health targets;
  • establishes standards of practice for, and conducts performance reviews of medical health officers; and
  • works with the BC Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, and BC’s medical health officers to fulfill their legislated mandates on disease control and health protection.

It is the responsibility of the Deputy Provincial Health Officers (DPHO) to assist with the execution of the duties of the PHO. One DPHO has specific responsibilities related to reporting on the health of Aboriginal people, and liaising with the First Nations Health Authority.

The Provincial Drinking Water Officer assists the PHO in providing oversight and accountability for the Drinking Water Protection Act, including requests for reviews of decisions by regional Drinking Water Officers, public reporting and responding to public complaints.

Learn More

  • Current Health Topics
    Resources for public health officials on a variety of topics.
  • Reports and Publications
    Find Annual Reports, Special Reports, and Drinking Water reports published by the Office of the Provincial Health Officer.
  • About Public Health
    Frequently Asked Questions on public health, for members of the public and public health professionals.
  • Medical Health Officers
    A list of medical health officers (MHOs) in the province of B.C., as well as a description of their duties and responsibilities.
  • Laws Related to Health in B.C.
    More information on laws related to health, including the Public Health Act, Food Safety ActCommunity Care and Assisted Living Act, etc.
  • Public Health Links
    Find more information on public health using these online resources.