Working in Bella Bella

Working in Bella Bella

Physicians in Bella Bella serve a combined group panel size of approximately 2400 patients at the Bella Bella Medical Clinic and ƛ̓uxválásu̓ilas Heiltsuk Hospital (kwil-valas-iwaylas Heiltsuk Hospital), which means ‘a place for sick people’ in Haíɫzaqvḷa.

A regular week consists of Monday-Friday morning clinic hours with 20 minutes appointments and 24 hour Emergency Department call rotations divided among 4 on site physicians per week. The physician team in Bella Bella provides longitudinal primary care services to neighbouring Denny Island residents in addition to Ocean Falls and Kitasoo/Xai’Xais Nation (Klemtu).

You are never truly alone – regular staff physicians are always available to assist with emergency presentations or to answer questions. Our site is suitable for newly graduated and experienced physicians alike with daily morning rounds covering clinic, hospital and community patients. We foster a supportive environment and share learning and teaching opportunities as they arise. 

Remuneration for locum work is usually organized through the Rural GP Locum Program, but have separate locum contracts available as well. Regular staff physicians are on an Alternative Payment Plan (APP) contract with the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority. 

Monday to Friday clinic hours with 20 minute appointments

Our medical care is provided by four on-site Family Physicians sharing time between the hospital and clinic.

Our Hospital

ƛ̓uxválásu̓ilas Heiltsuk Hospital (click here to hear pronunciation) serves Bella Bella and its neighbouring Bella Bella and its neighbouring communities Denny Island, Klemtu (Kitasoo/Xai’Xais Nation), and Ocean Falls.

The hospital currently offers five acute care inpatient beds, seven residential care beds, and a four-bed 24/7 Emergency Department equipped with a state of the art Point of Care Ultrasound (PoCUS) Machine (Sonosite PX).

We also offer on-site inpatient and outpatient Laboratory and X-Ray imaging services & mental health services. We also have a regular visiting ultrasonographer providing formal outpatient, inpatient and emergency ultrasound services.

Our on-site pharmacy is staffed by a rotating regular or locum Pharmacist and Pharmacy Assistants.

The on-site medical staff consists of four Family Physicians (usually a combination of regular staff and locum doctors) providing hospital inpatient and emergency department coverage in addition to outpatient longitudinal community primary care.

To augment our medical services, we make use of the physician-to-physician Real Time Virtual Supports (RTVS) made available through the Rural Coordination Centre of BC. This includes dedicated support for Emergency Medicine (RUDi), Pediatrics (CHARLiE), Maternity Care (MaBAL), Rural Virtual Dermatology Services and others.

Our Clinic

The Bella Bella Medical Clinic offers episodic and longitudinal primary care through appointments with family physicians using Med Access EMR. Our four clinic rooms are outfitted with state of the art vital signs machines and updated diagnostic equipment. In addition, hand held PoCUS machines (Clarius) are available for clinic use to help augment physical examinations & guide injections. 

The medical clinic staff work with the local Health Centre Patient Travel Service to manage patient referrals to specialists and diagnostics outside the community (CT, MRI, Ultrasound, etc).

The clinic is host to over 15 visiting out-of-town specialists who conduct approximately 1700 appointments annually.

Remuneration for locums is either organized by the Rural GP Locum Program or falls under the Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) Clinical Services Contract. Regular physicians are also under the VCH Clinical Services Contract; there is no fee-for-service billing in Bella Bella.


We strive to make your orientation and integration into the clinic and hospital as seamless as possible. Prior to your trip you will receive a welcome package that includes the password for Physician Wiki, our online orientation website. You’ll be welcomed on arrival by one of the regular doctors, and we’re always on hand for support.

Teaching and Training

Bella Bella is a fantastic place to spend time as a resident or medical student! We do it all — clinic longitudinal primary care, emergency medicine, acute hospital inpatient medicine, and long-term care. It’s a fascinating, welcoming, Indigenous community and we have a culture of support and collegiality. We love teaching and training! If you have general questions, feel free to contact Dr. Adam Sandell, our physician lead for teaching and training, by clicking on the “Contact Adam” button below.

Please contact Cindy Aronson: Coordinator, Physician Services, Vancouver Coastal Health for direct enquiries and applications related to training opportunities in Bella Bella. Cindy has all the up-to-date information and details needed to get your application submitted.


Heiltsuk Health Centre

The Hailika’as Heiltsuk Health Centre Society (HHHCS), locally referred to as the “Health Centre” provides community-based health and wellness programs, a dental clinic, fitness centre and hosts several visiting therapists throughout the year. 

Programs include mental health, public health, healthy families, home care and youth programming.


Current Vacancies

There are several websites advertising available physician locum opportunities, but you won’t find a complete list of available dates online. All roads lead to Cindy Aronson: Coordinator, Physician Services, Vancouver Coastal Health. Contact Cindy to get up-to-date information on Bella Bella physician locum and permanent jobs.

Get In Touch

Get In Touch

Get In Touch