Series GR-3509 - Human blood, cell, tissue, and organ issues files

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Human blood, cell, tissue, and organ issues files

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  • textual record

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  • Source of title proper: Title derived from contents of series

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Dates of creation area


  • 1998-2009 (Creation)
    British Columbia. Medical Services division
  • 1991-2011 (Creation)
    British Columbia. Health Authorities division

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Physical description

8.25 m textual records

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Biographical history

The Health Authorities division was established in 2006 as part of the Ministry of Health. It succeeded the Performance Management and Improvement division, which had included a smaller Health Authority branch. The Health Authorities division was designed to ensure that sustainable and affordable patient-centered care was delivered to patients through BC’s six health authorities. The Division defined standards of performance and developed frameworks to manage provincial health initiatives.

In 2008, the Division fell under the newly-renamed Ministry of Health Services and by 2010 it was divided into seven subordinate branches. These branches provided strategic direction and managed the performance of the province’s six health authorities, managed patient care quality, managed patient safety, guided health care transformation funding, resolved patient concerns and systemic issues on behalf of the Minister of Health, and developed legislative and policy options for divisional programs. The Division was also responsible for liaising with other branches within the Ministry of Health, including its work on the surgical wait list website with the Health Information and Modernization branch.

The Division styled itself as the steward of the province’s health services, and helped to manage the flow of information and decisions between the Ministry and the six health authorities. By 2010, the Division had approximately 110 staff.

In 2013, the Division was succeeded by the Health Services division.

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Biographical history

The Medical Services division was a division of the Ministry of Health, and later of the Ministry of Health Services. It was preceded by Medical and Pharmaceutical Services and was succeeded by the Medical Services and Health Human Resources division.

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Scope and content

The series consists of correspondence, issue papers, copies of briefing notes, copies of memoranda of understanding, Canadian Blood Services reports, corporate plans, budgets, and financial statements created between 1991 and 2011. The records were created by two bodies within the Ministry of Health : the Health Authorities division (and its predecessor, the Performance Management and Improvement division), and branches within the Medical Services division. Due to frequent reorganization of the Ministry of Health, the records were in the custody of a substantial number of successor divisions and branches before transferal to the Archives. The series documents issues of national and provincial importance, such as the tainted blood incident of the 1980s, and provides evidence of the Province’s reaction and involvement with such issues. The series consists of a great deal of correspondence from affected patients to the Ministry of Health, as patients sought assistance, compensation, and recognition of their experiences.

The series also consists of the interim reports from the Krever inquiry, as well as provincial and territorial responses to the report. The Krever inquiry, also known as the Royal Commission of Inquiry on the Blood System in Canada was established in 1993 to investigate allegations that contaminated blood and blood products had been supplied to patients. The inquiry recommended the foundation of Héma-Quebec and Canadian Blood Services and also made recommendations for compensation to affected patients.

The series also consists of records relating to various organ banks in British Columbia, including ear banks, cell transplants, and other human bone and tissue banks. Many of the records deal with allegations of contamination in both the medical equipment and the product supply chain itself. The series also consists of several volumes of annual and quarterly reports of Canadian Blood Services as well as the records of the Deputy Minister’s Policy Advisory committee. The records in the series deal with both blood-borne pathogens, such as West Nile virus, and contaminated blood and tissue products, as well as with medications and components of blood and tissue banks, such as buffy coat and Palivizumab,.

The series is covered by the Health Authority Performance Management ORCS schedule (schedule 122532, secondary 25600-20) and is arranged by issue

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Transferred from the Ministry of Health in May 2016.
Containers 964666-0004, 965745-0003, 965745-0004, and 966375-0002 transferred from the Ministry of Health in May 2017.


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Restrictions on access

Records restricted under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Please contact BC Archives staff for more information and to request access.

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General note

Accession number(s) : 94-6867, 96-0042, 96-0918, 96-4666, 96-5745, 96-6375, 96-7866

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