Written by Carol Swan, Manager, Communications, BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services, PHSA

Health services will now be provided in BC correctional centres through Provincial Health Services Authority's BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services.

As of October 1, 2017, the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) assumed responsibility for health services provided in BC correctional centres. Previously, health services in correctional centres were provided by an independent contractor. 

Correctional Health Services is operated as part of PHSA’s BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services (BCMHSUS) portfolio, which includes Forensic Psychiatric Services. BCMHSUS provides health care services for individuals with complex needs, including severe mental health and substance use issues.

“The opportunity to improve continuity of care for clients is significant, now that these services are managed within the broader health care system,” said Andrew MacFarlane, Provincial Executive Director, Correctional Health Services.  “These clients often have complex needs and we will work closely with our BC Corrections, regional health authority and First Nations Health Authority partners to address priorities for improving client transitions and enhancing mental health and substance use support.”

The transition to a new model of care and other changes associated with the delivery of PHSA Correctional Health Services will unfold over the next several months. The majority of current physicians, dentists, psychologists and direct care staff joined the PHSA Correctional Health Services team, which will support service continuity as changes unfold.

BC Corrections currently has approximately 2,700 inmates and Correctional Health Services anticipates approximately 18,000 new clients per year.  Interdisciplinary health care teams will support clients in the ten BC correctional centres and will also leverage innovative technologies such as Telehealth.

Visit bcmhusus.ca to learn more Correctional Health Services.

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