Mrs Lorrie Cramb1, Mrs Susan Paul
1British Columbia Ministry Of Health, Victoria, Canada
Allied health professionals are integral members of the health care team who make significant contributions to service delivery and improving health outcomes for British Columbians. They are essential to BC’s ambitious health system transformation towards interdisciplinary team based care, yet there is a lack of organizational infrastructure, leadership and equity for allied health across the continuum of care and throughout local, regional and provincial levels of the health care system. Ongoing critical allied health workforce shortages have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, further highlighting the need for a policy focus in government. In order to address these significant workforce challenges, the Ministry of Health has embarked on a journey to understand the depth of the issues and uncover the inequities for allied health professionals that exist when compared to other health professions. Core themes related to education/training, practice, recruitment, retention, leadership, culture and other factors will be addressed through targeted focus groups and a province wide survey of key stakeholders and frontline allied health professionals. The results of this work will inform a policy agenda and five year strategic plan for BC that aligns with emerging best practice as demonstrated in Scotland, England, New Zealand and Australia. This research is a necessary step to recognize, support and develop the roles of allied health in BC’s public health care system, especially as the Ministry of Health moves to a more integrated system of care.
Lorrie is currently the Director for the Allied Health Policy Secretariat at the British Columbia Ministry of Health. Lorrie is a Registered Dietitian with a Master’s degree in Adult Education and over 30 years of experience in health care, academia and government settings at local, provincial and national levels. Lorrie is a strong allied health advocate and was the leading force behind the establishment of government’s first Allied Health Policy Secretariat. Lorrie is married with two teenage sons and lives in the capital city of Victoria, B.C.