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Because your voice matters.

Participant, Provincial Virtual Care Advisory Group

Posted • Last updated


Open to Provincial Region, Indigenous patient partners across the province

Last updated

Given the significant changes in how people now consume health care services, would you like to help advise the Ministry of Health in developing the future vision of virtual care? If yes, this could be the opportunity for you!

Open to: Indigenous patient partners across the province

Lead Organization or Department

Digital Health Policy Team, Health Sector IM/IT


Our aim is to ensure our strategic framework for virtual care is inclusive, patient and family centred and reflects patient perspectives on empowerment and virtual care. Virtual care is defined as the direct delivery of care between a patient and a provider, or communication between providers regarding the care of a patient, at distance using information and communication technology; this includes, but is not limited to video conferencing, telephone, text, and email. This also includes services you may already be familiar with like HealthLink BC (formerly known as the nurse line). The Digital Health Policy Team has prioritized the development of a core set of standards and policies that will provide provincial direction on and support for the use of virtual care in British Columbia. Your role as a patient partner will be to provide your involved feedback to our team on these draft standards and policies concerning virtual care. In response to COVID-19 and, increasingly, citizen preferences, the Ministry of Health has prioritized several policy areas identified in its Virtual Care Strategic Framework which include: Appropriate Use Guidelines for Virtual Care; Virtual Care in Primary and Community Care; Virtual Care in Care; Virtual Care in Rural/Remote Regions; and, Virtual Care for Indigenous Peoples. These policies will provide a clear blueprint for how we all move forward together with a strategic, systematic and aligned vision for the provision of virtual care in British Columbia.

Level of Engagement

This opportunity is at the level of involve on the spectrum of engagement. The promise to you is that the health care partner will involve patients in planning and design phases to ensure ideas or concerns are considered and reflected in alternatives and recommendations.


It is important to hear the voices of many perspectives in this work. This opportunity seeks to have an inclusive approach and was originally posted during the last week of July. The posting encouraged diverse representation from across the province including people from different ethnic, economic, and social backgrounds. Many patient partners have applied to take part in this work and we would like to extend an additional invitation to Indigenous patient partners to share their voice as this work moves forward. Indigenous patient partners responding to this invitation would be welcome to join the broader group of patient partners or welcome to participate in an Indigenous specific group. If you have a strong interest in this work but have not yet completed a PVN orientation and volunteer agreement, are unsure if your experience is a good fit or feel another format of engagement would work better with your availability, please contact the engagement leader directly.


• Vacancies: up to 20 • Date and Time: The broader group Advisory sessions are set to take place between Sept 3,  2020 and Feb 13, 2021 (this may be extended). Each session will last 1-1.5 hours, with one meeting per month or as required. The format and frequency of the Indigenous patient partner advisory sessions will be determined with the participants and begin with an introductory meeting on Sep 3, 2020. • Location: Via Webex/teleconference • Commitment: 6 months


As this engagement opportunity is taking place via Webex/teleconference no expenses are anticipated.


The COVID-19 pandemic has unequivocally proven the relevancy of virtual care in the delivery of primary and community care services. With community clinics closing up almost overnight several months ago, health care providers across Canada turned to virtual care as a safe and effective way to maintain critical health services for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the context of the relatively limited use of virtual care in British Columbia and Canada prior to the pandemic, this is one of the most significant digital transformations that the Canadian health care sector has recently undergone. Content for the Virtual Care Strategic Framework was informed by a review of domestic and international sources, focusing on jurisdictions with mature approaches to delivering virtual care (e.g. Australia, New Zealand, Northern Europe, United Kingdom, and the United States). The evidence strongly indicates that virtual care can improve access to high quality health care by overcoming barriers to health services caused by physical distance between patients and health care providers, the need for travel, and the lack of available providers. The evidence also shows that virtual care can improve quality and continuity of care, increase provider satisfaction in their work and support patient empowerment. It has the potential to facilitate more equitable health care delivery for underserved communities and deliver time and cost efficiencies for patients, providers, and the health care system.

Health Care Partner Contact Information

Cassy Mitchell
Engagement Leader, Patient and Public Engagement

From Our Community

Christine Wallsworth

Patient Partner, Vancouver

Christine Wallsworth

Patient and family partners should not be a check box on research proposals! They need to be involved right from the start. I know patient and family partners are doing their part by providing their knowledge to researchers from their lived experience.  It’s a win-win for us to work together through PVN to make sure our input drives improvements.