Patients as Partners

Including the voices of patients and their families is essential to positive change in health care.

The Ministry of Health’s Patients as Partners Initiative brings person- and family-centred care to the forefront of health care through collaboration with patients and their families, non-governmental organizations, funded partners, regional health authorities, and a variety of health-care providers. Its partnerships work to provide leadership, tools and resources that help integrate patients’ and families’ voices, choices and their representation into decision making, which can positively affect people’s health and health-system improvements.

Patient participation has significant impact on three care levels: the individual patient and provider relationship (including patient self-management), the community, and health-care system design. Engagement activities support patients and families in building their ability to achieve optimal health, help identify patient priorities, and ensure a patient-centred care approach is included in provincial policies and projects. Patients as Partners follows international best practices for public engagement based on the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) and the Triple Aim principles for health-care quality improvements. For a summary of Patients as Partners successes, please see the govTogetherBC website

Patients as Partners Initiative is part of a larger movement involving multiple organizations and policies (including the World Health Organization) that stresses the need for patients to be empowered to take control of their health, and participate in the development of policies and supports as part of system-wide change.


The International Association of Public Participation honoured Patients as Partners with the 2016 Canadian Organization of the Year Award, recognizing the ministry for its leading practices in public and patient engagement. 

Provincial Annual Dialogue

On February 28, 2017, the Ministry of Health hosted the Patients as Partners’ provincial Annual Dialogue event, which brought together patients, health-care providers and staff to share their lived experience. It generated new ideas on how to improve patient- and family-centred care in the province. Input has been shared with policy makers in the ministry and health authorities.

Monthly Activity Guide

The Patients as Partners Initiative funds and sponsors many health sector educational activities, events and supports. Check out our monthly activity guide (PDF, 652KB) to find out what is happening around the province and in your community.