The PHSA, or Provincial Health Services Authority of British Columbia, is a private organization that runs health care in the Province. It operates similar to SROs, or self-regulating organizations in other Provinces. It was founded in 2001. True, it receives FUNDING from the public, but is set up as a corporation, and acts in an autonomous manner.
In section 2.1 of its By-Laws, the PHSA specifies that there must always be at least one person appointed from the University of British Columbia. Very strange to have a quota system from an institution. It’s even more strange since Adrian Dix and several members running PHSA also have attended UBC.
Members are also able to rack up large debts in the name of the PHSA, but won’t be held personally responsible for any of them.
Why does all of this matter? Because the PHSA is the group that oversees all health care in British Columbia. According to a 2018 mandate letter from Health Minister Adrian Dix:
The mandate letter from Dix also specifies the PHSA is to “provide effective provincial oversight which includes provincial planning, coordination , monitoring, evaluating, and reporting on province-wide results and health outcomes for the following specialized provincial services”. In essence, PHSA is to be the brains and coordination behind health care in BC.
Keep in mind, Adrian Dix became Health Minister without being a doctor, or having any medical background whatsoever. His education consists of studying history and political science at the University of British Columbia. He is a former Chief-of-Staff for ex-Premier Glen Clark. It’s political climbing, not skill, that landed him in this current role. So he likely serves as little more than a yes-man.
In May 2008, the BC Health Act was replaced by the BC Public Health Act, also, implementing provisions from the 2005 Quarantine Act (Bill C-12). This included “Modernization of powers and duties of public health officials for communicable disease prevention and control, environmental health hazard response, chronic disease and hazard prevention, and public health emergency response; e.g. updated inspection powers, powers to issue orders, quarantine and isolation provisions”.
The Public Health Act also requires that there be a “Provincial Health Officer” appointed, and that such person be given broad powers. Currently, it’s Bonnie Henry, who has never had her name on any ballot.
There are references to “the Authority” in the Public Health Act, but it isn’t clear if it refers to the PSHA. Likely it means the people enforcing the various orders, not the policy heads. In any event, it goes on and on about the power to enforce “safety measures“.
What does all of this mean? It means that health care policy in BC is being determined by an autonomous group that isn’t really part of the Government. Yes, they receive public money, but they act on their own to determine how care shall be provided. While technically answering the Minister of Health, Adrian Dix has no qualifications, and can’t act to check that power. Not only that, the Public Health Act was modelled after the WHO International Health Regulations and 2005 Quarantine Act.
A body that isn’t accountable to the public, and a “Provincial Health Officer” who can’t be easily replaced are enforcing laws written by the World Health Organization. This is the state of affairs in British Columbia. With a set up like this, it’s no wonder that people like Bonnie Henry, Adrian Dix, John Horgan and Mike Farnworth are able to get away with so much. Collusion between political parties doesn’t help.
LAWS, POLICIES, DOCUMENTS
BC Societies Act, Full Text
BC Public Health Act Announcement
Full Text Of BC Public Health Act, Effective 2008
Provincial Health Services Authority BC Bylaws
Provincial Health Services Authority BC Constitution
Provincial Health Services Authority Foundational Mandate 2018
Provincial Health Services Authority Foundational Mandate 2019
PREVIOUS CANUCK LAW POSTS
(1) WHO International Health Regulations Legally Binding
(2) A Look At International Health Regulation Statements
(3) Quarantine Act Actually Written By WHO, IHR Changes
(4) Provincial Health Acts Domestic Implementation Of WHO-IHR, Part I
(5) Provincial Health Acts Domestic Implementation Of WHO-IHR, Part II
(6) World Health Treaty Proposed, Based On WHO-IHR
(7) Public Health Agency Of Canada Created As UN Outpost