Island Health provides health care and support services to more than 860,000 people on Vancouver Island, the islands in the Salish Sea and the Johnstone Strait, and mainland communities north of Powell River. With more than 27,000 staff and over 2,900 physician partners, 1,000 volunteers, and the dedicated support of foundations and auxiliaries, Island Health delivers a broad range of health services, including: public health services, primary health care, home and community care, mental health and addictions services, acute care in hospitals, and much more across a huge, geographically diverse region.
This section contains information about Island Health, formally known as the Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA). We encourage you to read about our accountability, including reports and plans, facts and figures from our Medical Health Officers, and how we are doing in comparison with our performance measures.
We are most grateful for the land in which we work, live and play.
Before Canada and BC were formed, Indigenous peoples lived in balance and interconnectedness with the land and water in which the necessities of life are provided. Health disparities persist which are due to the impacts of colonization and Indigenous specific racism. Healthy lands, healthy people. Island Health acknowledges and recognizes these homelands and the stewardship of Indigenous peoples of what is now known as Vancouver Island; it is with humility we continue to work toward building our relationship.
Declaration of Commitment
Cultural Safety is a process and an outcome based on respectful engagement that recognizes and strives to address power imbalances inherent in the health care system. Senator Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation 2015 Report (TRC) defined systemic racism as
"when the system itself is based upon and founded upon racist beliefs and philosophies and thinking and has put in place policies and practices that literally force even the non-racists to act in a racist way."
Island Health is aware of the importance of deepening our understanding of systemic racism so we can actively address health inequities. The generational colonial beliefs and attitudes that created Indian Hospitals, Reserves, Day Schools, the foster-care system and residential schools continue to this day.
Since the release of the TRC Report, Island Health, along with all BC health authorities, signed the Declaration of Commitment to embed cultural safety and humility into the delivery of all health and care services. Island Health is committed to this ongoing learning journey to remove systemic racism through policy, process and procedure changes as well as increase awareness and capacity for staff, physicians, volunteers, contractors and students to create culturally safe engagement and environments.
Our vision is excellent care for everyone, everywhere, every time.