New report reveals health care needs of 1 in 3 BC women are not being met

Wednesday, Oct 9, 2019

In Her Words: Women’s experience with the healthcare system in BC, commissioned by the BC Women’s Health Foundation and sponsored by Pacific Blue Cross, sheds light on the invisible barriers faced by women of all ages and socio-economic conditions in all four corners of our province...

Would it surprise you to learn that there is a health care gap for women in British Columbia?

That’s the overall conclusion of a new report, In Her Words: Women’s experience with the healthcare system in BC, commissioned by the BC Women’s Health Foundation (BCWHF) and proudly sponsored by Pacific Blue Cross.

Woman of all ages and socio-economic conditions across the province offered their perspectives on their overall health and experiences in the health care system. The findings were stark: 3 in 10 reported challenges accessing the healthcare they needed last year and just over half felt that a physician had diminished or overlooked their symptoms. The experiences of Indigenous women were even worse; nearly three quarters felt their needs were not being met.

Women are unique

  • Women have different physiology than men, yet a great deal of medical research and practice assumes men and women’s bodies are the same.
  • There is not enough focus on women’s reproductive health and how women experience a period, a pregnancy, or menopause.
  • Caring for children and elderly relatives generally falls on women— and many women are doing both while working full time jobs.

Did you know? Women metabolize medications differently from men, so the correct doses, results, and side effects can vary. Yet medications prescribed to women have often been tested only on men.

In Her Words: Women’s Experience with the Healthcare System in BC
— BC Women’s Health Foundation

Women’s health is important to us

At Pacific Blue Cross, more than 70% of our staff are women. We provide health benefits to a third of the women in the province. We clearly have a role to play in improving women’s health outcomes.

Pacific Blue Cross recently entered into a three-year partnership with the BCWHF to help address some of the unique health care needs of women. We’ll be using our platform as BC’s number one health benefits provider to shine a light on women’s health care inequities with our clients and members, and within our own four walls.  

We are also looking at ways to enhance our benefits plans and services for individuals and groups in areas such as access to care, mental health support and reproductive health and wellbeing.