B.C.’s Guiding Framework for Public Health

The role of public health is to promote and protect the health and well-being of British Columbians.

The term "public health" is often confused with the publicly-funded health care system in Canada. Public health is one important part of this publicly-funded health care system.

Public health carries out a wide variety of activities in B.C., such as:

  • Ensuring people have access to safe drinking water and food.
  • Developing and delivering provincial vaccination programs.
  • Reporting on the health of British Columbians.
  • Managing outbreaks of disease.
  • Encouraging people to use healthy behaviours to prevent chronic diseases and injuries.

These public health activities are based on the best available evidence and best practices. Action in public health is organized under the following seven visionary goals in Promote, Protect, Prevent: Our Health Begins Here. BC’s Guiding Framework for Public Health (PDF, 5.7MB):

  • Healthy Living and Healthy Communities
  • Maternal, Child and Family Health
  • Positive Mental Health and Prevention of Substance Harms
  • Communicable Disease Prevention
  • Injury Prevention
  • Environmental Health
  • Public Health Emergency Management

The Guiding Framework document was originally released in March 2013, and was updated in March 2017 to reflect changes to data sources and the availability of updated data. The following at-a-glance document was created to summarize the updated performance measures, including baselines, targets, and data sources: B.C.’s Guiding Framework for Public Health. Performance Measures At-a-Glance (PDF, 481KB)

Under each goal are a number of core public health programs. These are the public health programs health authorities provide as they seek to improve the overall health of their population.