Dietitians are essential members of the health care team, and provide nutrition care to individuals of any age based on their individual health needs. They work in a variety of areas within the health authority, including clinical patient care, chronic disease management, food services, long-term care, and public and population health. They are an accredited profession, and in the province of BC are regulated by the College of Dietitians of BC (CDBC).
Where can I find a dietitian in Northern BC?
If you’ve ever thought about connecting with a dietitian to support your or your family’s nutritional wellness needs, and you live in Northern BC, you have a few options:
- You can call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1: HealthLink BC provides access to registered dietitians Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm PST; or you can send them an email. In addition to dietitians who answer questions about adult and child nutrition, they have dietitians who specialize in the areas of food allergies and cancer care.
- Public health care services: Your BC Medical Services Plan covers this cost, similar to how the cost of going to your family doctor is covered. Northern Health has primary care/outpatient dietitians for many communities. Speak to your health care team about your options. You can also access the Northern Health public Nutrition and Dietitian Services page which lists dietitian services in or near your community. For support with eating disorders you can work with the dietitian in your community; additionally, you may get support through the Regional Eating Disorders Clinic.
- Northern Health Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP): If you work for Northern Health (NH), access the OurNH EFAP page for information on how to sign up for the Lifeworks Program. Lifeworks provides a number of different services including access to a registered dietitian. If you don’t work for NH, check with your employer to see if you have access to dietitian services through your employee support program.
- Private practice registered dietitian: Just as you can access private physiotherapy or chiropractic services, you can access private dietitian services. BC Dietitian Directory provides you with a fulsome list of private practice dietitians in BC. You can search for a dietitian by geographic location or by practice areas like diabetes, vegetarian, sports nutrition, etc. Private practice dietitian services require private pay, but you may have extended benefits that will cover all or part of this cost. Call your providers (e.g., Blue Cross, Sunlife etc.) to see if dietitian services are covered by your plan.
Some frequently asked questions
I’m having a difficult time getting in to see a dietitian in my community. Why is this happening?
At this time, NH is actively recruiting to fill a number of dietitian positions. We are working to solve these challenges. One way you can help is by encouraging young people to get into the profession! Have them reach out to a dietitian in Northern Health for more information about this dynamic and rewarding profession.
Can I see a dietitian that lives in another province or country using an online platform?
Dietitians who work virtually or in-person, with people who live in BC, are required to be registered with the College of Dietitians of BC (CDBC). Therefore, if you contact a dietitian in another province or country they may decline to work with you. If they do work with you without being registered with CDBC, you would not have the ability to bring any concerns about the dietitian’s professional practice to CDBC, and they may not be covered by any extended benefits plans. Check the public register on the CDBC website to ensure your practitioner is licensed to practice dietetics in BC.