Over 200 attendees from all regions of BC with differing levels of involvement in BC’s specialist care came together in Vancouver last month to the inaugural Specialist Symposium: Shaping the Future of Specialist Care in BC. This event was hosted as a partnership between the Specialist Services Committee (link is external) (SSC) and the Specialists of BC (link is external) (SBC) with the aim of capturing the voices of front-line specialists in setting the direction of specialist care moving forward.
SSC Co-Chair Dr Mathew Chow and SBC President Dr John Falconer welcomed the crowd, noting that the Symposium was a unique opportunity for attendees to connect, hear from other clinical areas and regions, and contribute their voices to the future of specialist care in the province.
In addition to the BC Ministry of Health, BC health authorities, and other health partners and stakeholders, patient representatives also enthusiastically participated, bringing their voice to ground the discussions around practical issues and solutions. “Patients need to be better listened to at times,” stated Teresa, a patient representative. “I hope I can make a contribution to remind physicians and specialists about the patient-side of things to make it real for them.”
Ten breakout sessions to discuss current priorities in specialist care were offered and led by experts. For more information, and to access the relevant presentations, click here (link is external).
In the afternoon, participants came together in a facilitated session at which they identified 30 themes and discussed issues, solutions and recommendations for the SSC to consider in its next three-year strategic plan (2020-23), that will be made available in the Spring.
The post-symposium participant evaluation described the symposium as being very successful, as well as a great platform for contributing to future specialist priorities of the province. 92 percent of participants indicated that they felt the Symposium created opportunities for collaboration across speciality disciplines and partners on ways to improve patient care in BC.
The Specialist Services Committee is one of four joint collaborative committees, representing a partnership between the government and Doctors of BC.