Message and Accountability Statement
from the Minister
I am pleased to present the 2005/06–2007/08 Service Plan for the Ministry of Health Services.
This year's plan builds on a strong foundation. Since we began our reform efforts in 2001, we have focused on and been guided by three overarching goals: to keep people healthy; deliver quality care to those in need; and ensure the system is sustainable for today's and future generations. Together with B.C.'s health authorities and thousands of dedicated health professionals across the province, we have made great progress in creating a health system that is focused on the needs of the citizens of B.C.
This past year, our government has played a leading role in working with other provinces and the federal government to achieve more certainty around federal funding for health care. B.C. is also taking a leadership role in developing a National Pharmaceuticals Strategy to ensure affordable access to drugs for all Canadians.
In British Columbia, we have increased health funding and provided more services every year since 2001. We have made good progress and have much to be proud of; however, there is still more work to be done. An aging population, rising rates of chronic illness, and increasing costs of technology and pharmaceuticals continue to challenge the sustainability of the health system.
This service plan lays out the ministry's strategic focus for the next three years. We will build on our success and rise to meet our challenges. The new federal funding agreement, combined with increased investment from the province, will help us meet our goals. However, increased funding alone is not sufficient to keep the system sustainable in the long-term. It is important that new investments be made wisely and in accordance with defined objectives and strategies that will positively transform the health system and benefit the people of British Columbia. Accordingly, we will strategically invest the new funding across the continuum of health services, including public health, primary care, maternity and women's health, surgical access, cancer treatment, community and home care, and mental health and addiction services.
Through new and continuing work on health promotion and disease prevention, we will help people make healthy lifestyle choices, and assist in keeping preventable illness at bay. When citizens do need health care, we will provide timely access to vital services, treat illnesses according to evidence-based best practice, and integrate services and providers to help make the patient's journey of care less complicated and stressful. And for the end of life, we will enhance palliative care options to better meet the needs of patients and their families.
We will also continue to improve efficiency and sustainability in the public system by providing strong and focused leadership, utilizing new technology and information systems, ensuring we have the appropriate mix and number of health professionals, and managing within the budget by using sound business practices.
This 2005/06–2007/08 Ministry of Health Services Service Plan was prepared under my direction in accordance with the Budget Transparency and Accountability Act. I am accountable for the basis on which the plan has been prepared. All material fiscal assumptions and policy decisions as of January 31, 2005 have been considered in preparing the plan and I am accountable for achieving the specific objectives in the plan.
Honourable Shirley Bond
Minister of Health Services
February 3, 2005