Series GR-2586 - Health records with regard to disease outbreaks

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Health records with regard to disease outbreaks

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  • textual record

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Reference code

GR-2586

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

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Date(s)

  • 1924-1939 (Creation)
    Creator
    British Columbia. Provincial Health Officer

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Physical description

Originals, 40 cm

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Biographical history

The provincial health officer (PHO) is the senior public health official in the province and is responsible for the health of the population. The PHO is also responsible for providing independent advice to ministers and public officials on public health issues. Duties of the PHO include recommending actions to improve health and wellness in BC, delivering reports on the health of the population, and working with the BC Centre for Disease Control and Prevention to fulfill legislated mandates on disease control and health protection. Areas of particular interest to the Provincial Health Officer are communicable disease control, environmental health, disease prevention, wellness promotion and community care facilities.

The Provincial Health Officer is responsible for supervising medical health officers and assumes legal authority under the Health Act by the Minister of Health. He or she oversees recruitment and training of medical health officers and their recommendation to the Union Board of Health.

The first explicit legislative reference to a Provincial Health Officer is in the 1911 Health Act (RSBC 1911, c. 102, s. 4) in which it is noted that “a secretary of the Provincial Board, to be known as the ‘Provincial Health Officer’ ….shall be a duly qualified medical practitioner.” However, by that point, the position had existed for several years. Previously, the Health Act had only made mention of a Provincial Board of Health, which should “consist of not more than five members, one of whom shall be the Secretary of the Board, the members thereof shall be appointed from time to time by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council.” (RSBC 1897, c. 91).

Custodial history

Scope and content

These are files of Dr. Young, the Provincial Health Officer. The files relate mostly to outbreaks of disease, including smallpox, infantile paralysis (poliomyelitis), plague, trachoma, tick paralysis, psittacosis, and leprosy. These files contain correspondence of the Provincial Health Officer with Medical Health Officers in B.C. and the U.S. Public Health Service. The files also include reports relating to lab services, and recurring incidents of diphtheria at the Queen Alexandra Solarium.

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Immediate source of acquisition

Transferred from the Ministry of Health, 1983.

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There are no access restrictions.

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General note

Accession number(s): G83-054

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