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Wild fires anticipated: Registration now open for health science professionals to register for the Emergency Health Provider Registry

As British Columbia heads into another summer of wild fires, Health Emergency Management BC has activated the provincial Emergency Health Provider Registry to assist in the coordination of relief staffing for health care providers. Any Health Authority is able to access the registry when local emergencies create additional staffing needs.

HSA was consulted in the development of the registry, and worked with the Ministry of Health to ensure that those members who volunteer to provide services in affected communities are fully supported, with their collective agreement rights upheld.

The EHPR is an important initiative that can improve health service delivery to communities in crisis and relieve pressures on local staff. In 2018, 197 health care providers registered though the system.

The registry was first created in 2017 to respond to an unprecedented season of wildfires. Since then, it has been maintained as a permanent registry that can be used for future disasters. Those who register will have their information retained in the registry for five years, with their consent.

Registration is voluntary, and is open to all registered or regulated health care professionals working for a BC Health Authority. While health care staff are encouraged to discuss with their supervisors their plans to register, permission from the employer is not required.

Registration in-take is performed by HealthLink BC at 8-1-1. Registrants will be asked about their specialty, availability, and regional preferences. If their assistance is required, the applicable staffing office or Medical Affairs Department will contact them to confirm their availability.  If contacted, registrants have the right to decline assignments.

For HSA members, compensation will be aligned with current salaries and paid through the home Health Authority. Benefits will not be interrupted and the registrant’s job position will be maintained while on assignment. Travel and accommodation costs are covered and accommodation options vary.

For more information, review the  attached communiqué and Frequently Asked Questions produced by Health Emergency Management BC.