Vancouver Citizens Health Initiative is unaffiliated with any professional association and is guided by non-negotiable values that are non-partisan. We believe that:
· A high-quality, universally accessible, and publicly funded Healthcare system is a treasured public good and everyone who participates has a stake in its sustained success;
· Wellness begins with relationships and while we need to treat disease, as a collective enterprise we should be aiming at something higher that addresses what patrons really want;
· Primary care is only one element of wellness. Our frame of reference includes social supports, interpersonal connectedness, exercise, education, housing and food;
· We believe that primary care can and should be transparently and appropriately accountable to patrons, providers and the public interest.
Our motto is “Health care for everyone, now and in the future.”
Our Goal or Vision
- Our goal is wellness for people, providers and the public good that is our healthcare system
- To build and operate primary care clinics that achieve wellness for people, providers and public.
- To research, discuss and engage in activities to improve access to primary health care;
- To involve citizens and primary care clinicians in the development and operation of interdisciplinary primary care clinics;
- To improve citizen understanding and involvement in health care system improvement;
- To collaborate with other like-minded organizations and to participate in the planning of improvements, research and evaluation in relation to patient care.
We look at health care through three different perspectives:
Patrons – our primary focus is on the wellness of people who engage with the health care system in our community. At an individual level, this includes everyone who has ever had contact with the health care system. Right now, the biggest problems from this perspective include:
- too many people don’t have timely access to a family doctor. VCH’s My Health MyCommunity survey estimates over 170,000 in Vancouver alone don’t have a GP.
- if you’re lucky enough to have a family doctor, getting an appointment can take a lot of time. Almost 20% of daytime visits at VGH are for people who have a family doctor for issues that could be treated by primary care.
Providers – people who seek care need consistent, productive, well-rested healthcare providers, so physician wellness is central to our vision. Right now, most providers take the risk of starting up their own business using a model that is 100 years old, resulting in burnout and low satisfaction levels for physicians. Younger doctors are less likely to be interested in that traditional model, which is why so many patients are being orphaned when their doctor retires.
Public – includes everyone who has a stake in the success of the collective enterprise of healthcare. This means a system that functions well and is sustainable. Right now, tax-based and out-of-pocket costs are rising for consumers, leaving less discretionary income and lower levels of available funding for other valuable investments in things that keep people well, like income security, housing, education, recreation and healthy food.
We are accountable to our members and the broader population that wishes to have effective, universally accessible healthcare now and in the future.