BC Clinical and Support Services Society

In September 2015, the BC Government established the BC Clinical and Support Services (BCCSS) Society.  The Society’s mandate is to promote health in the province through:

  • Coordinating, managing, and/or providing clinical, diagnostic and support services to BC’s health care system for the benefit of all users of BC’s health care system.
  • Establishing and maintaining one or more divisions for the coordination, management and provision of clinical, diagnostic and support services to BC’s health care system for the benefit of all users of BC’s health care system.

The Society is comprised of two separate divisions: a clinical division that is responsible for provincial planning of the laboratory services system under the Laboratory Services Act, and a business division that is responsible for a range of common, non-clinical services like technology and finance services to the health authorities – currently provided by Health Shared Services BC (HSSBC).  As such, HSSBC will transition to the Society on April 1, 2016.

In addition, as of April 2016, the Society will oversee the Provincial Blood Coordinating Office (PBCO), formally governed by the Provincial Health Service Authority (PHSA).  The PBCO has a leadership role in transfusion medicine and is responsible for the transfusion medicine quality standards and the utilization management of blood and blood products.  Further, the PBCO facilitates the advancement of transfusion medicine practices through initiatives that support the effective and appropriate use of blood and blood products across the province.


BC's Agency for Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

As one of the first divisions of the BCCSS Society, the Agency for Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (the “Agency”) aims to ensure that clinical laboratory diagnostics are sustainable, quality driven, and innovative to support BC’s citizens and clinicians with access to laboratory services.  The mandate of the Agency includes, but is not limited to, strategic oversight, funding, efficiency and effectiveness, quality, human resourcing, and education.


Referrals for Laboratory and Genetic Services Outside of Canada

Obtaining Pre-Approval:

If a BC specialist physician recommends medical treatment in another country, the specialist must request provincial coverage.

Effective June 1, 2018


Effective June 1, 2018, BC’s Agency for Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (the Agency) will assume coordination of funding applications for out of province/out of country laboratory and genetic services that are currently managed by the Ministry’s service provider, Health Insurance BC (HIBC).

Please note: There is no change to laboratory and genetic tests that are managed by other BC provincial agencies.

Information to explain how to apply and the new application form will be available on the Agency website: www.bcaplm.ca

Inquiries about funding applications or payment sent before June 1, 2018 can be directed to HIBC at:

            LOWER MAINLAND:  604-456-6950

            REST OF BC:  1-866-456-6950


The referring specialist should complete the Out-of-Country Health Services Funding Application (the Application) or send a written request for coverage, for out of country non-laboratory medical treatment. For further information, go to the Referrals for Services Outside of Canada on the MSP website.


Test Review Committee

Under the authority of the Laboratory Services Act, the Minister of Health is responsible for the administration and provision of insured laboratory benefits to British Columbians. In support of the Minister, BC’s Agency for Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (Agency) has been directed by the Ministry of Health to develop and implement a laboratory benefit review process for clinical laboratory tests. This test review process is conducted by the Test Review Committee (TRC), a new standing operational unit reporting to the Agency. The TRC reviews, evaluates and makes evidence-based recommendations regarding the introduction, replacement and/or elimination of publicly-funded clinical laboratory tests (including inpatient, outpatient and out-of-province tests). The goal of the TRC is to ensure fair and transparent laboratory test review and adjudication processes of the test review process. The Agency receives the findings of the TRC and makes recommendations to the Ministry for consideration.

The TRC is comprised of 7 standing voting members, the Chair, and 4 ex-officio members, all who possess expertise in clinical laboratory medicine.  The TRC meets 10 times per year or more as required by the Agency or call of the Chair.  The inaugural meeting of the TRC was held in December, 2015.

For more information on the test review process, please refer to the frequently asked questions. Applicants are asked to submit applications electronically to labservices@gov.bc.ca with the subject line “Application for Clinical Laboratory Test Review.” The Ministry of Health will forward the applications to the Agency for processing and review.

For a list of tests currently under consideration by the Test Review Committee, please see the Test Review Committee Active Cases.