Ministry 2002/03 Annual Service Plan Report -- Government of British Columbia.
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2002/03 Annual Service Plan Report
Ministry of Health Services

Photograph -- Honourable Colin Hansen.I am pleased to present the 2002/03 Annual Service Plan Report for the Ministry of Health Services. This report highlights the progress this province has made in achieving our vision to create a health system that provides quality health services to meet patients' needs. During the past year, we have continued to work towards our New Era commitments to modernize our health care system and focus resources on providing patient-centred care.

British Columbia's health care system faces many challenges. These include shortages in health human resources, upgrading hospital facilities, the need for flexible care options for a changing and aging population, and new, expensive medical equipment and technology. We've taken steps to address these challenges and to improve the delivery of services.

And, because they're key to our health system, we have made BC nurses and doctors among the highest paid in the country. As an example, we have implemented a province-wide strategy that brings together incentive programs for doctors working in rural communities to ensure fair and equitable access to medical services for BC families, regardless of where they live.

To address the needs of people with mental illness, we've committed $263 million to fully implement BC's mental health plan and expand facilities and care options for British Columbians.

Our government has also launched a Home and Community Care Strategy to modernize and improve care options for seniors and people with disabilities. By 2006, we will provide 5,000 care beds, and as a step toward that goal, we're opening new supportive living units in areas of the province. These options help address the diverse and changing needs of British Columbians, and promote independence, choice and quality of life.

We continue to work with BC's health authorities, care providers and other partners to make improvements to our health system. Our government has significantly increased BC's health spending by $1.1 billion — to a total of $10.4 billion in 2002/03. This means that almost 41 per cent of our total provincial budget is put towards delivering quality patient care.

While additional resources provide part of the solution, more must be done to develop innovative approaches to both meet the challenges and create the opportunities to better serve seniors, families and communities in our province.

Honourable Colin Hansen
Minister of Health Services


Photograph -- Honourable Gulzar Cheema.Our government is committed to creating an effective, sustainable health system that meets the health care needs of British Columbians. Premier Gordon Campbell created my position as BC's first Minister of State for Mental Health to ensure a clear understanding of mental health issues — and to be an advocate across government for revitalizing mental health services in our province.

Working with health authorities and other partners, our government has successfully developed and implemented a multi-year $125 million mental health plan. This provincial plan includes strategies to better meet the needs of patients with mental illness, and provides an additional $138 million for new facilities. Through our $263 million investment, we're moving away from institutional treatment, and we're making a shift towards a responsive health system that provides appropriate care to British Columbians, where they live and when they need it.

Some of the key achievements highlighted in this annual service plan report include provincial reports and tools to help health authorities develop strategies for better preventing and treating depression and anxiety disorders. These reports outline innovative ways to enhance public education, deliver and access services, and evaluate the health and wellness of patients.

In our province, we are fully aware and committed to reforming mental health — and making it a priority on the provincial agenda. Clearly, to achieve our vision of modernizing mental health services and our health system, we must continue working with patients, care providers and communities to improve the quality of life of people with mental illness.

The 2002/03 Annual Service Plan Report for the Ministry of Health Services highlights the goals, initiatives and achievements of our province, partners and communities in creating a supportive system for the care and recovery of British Columbians.

Honourable Gulzar Cheema
Minister of State for Mental Health


Photograph --  Honourable Katherine Whittred.When Premier Gordon Campbell appointed me as BC's first Minister of State for Intermediate, Long Term and Home Care, I was given the mandate to ensure our health system offered the flexible care options that British Columbians want and need.

The 2002/03 Annual Service Plan Report for the Ministry of Health Services outlines key priorities, goals and initiatives for increasing care options to meet the needs of seniors, people with disabilities and others. This work will offer greater independence, choice and quality of life for British Columbians — and help those with high care needs live at home, in their communities. Toward this New Era goal, we are improving care and investing more in long-term and home care services.

I am pleased to say that we've moved forward on BC's Home and Community Care Strategy, making a continuum of services available, from institutional care to home care services delivered in local communities.

Under our direction, health authorities are embarking on a major redesign of their home and community care services. This includes 5,000 care beds by 2006, including thousands of assisted living units, of which 3,500 will be built under the Independent Living BC Program with BC Housing. As well, it ensures a more appropriate use of residential care facilities, enhancing home care services, and expanding the palliative care benefits program in BC.

These are just a few of the ways we are meeting our New Era commitments. I am proud of the work we have done so far to ensure all people have access to appropriate care for their needs, in appropriate settings — settings that respect people's rights and give them the dignity and support they need.

We've taken important steps in the right direction. And we look forward to another year of working to ensure British Columbians will have access to the support and services they need and value.

Honourable Katherine Whittred
Minister of State for Intermediate, Long Term and Home Care


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