It is my privilege to present the 2003/04 Annual Service Plan Report for the Ministry of Health Services. This report describes our progress in maintaining and protecting public health, providing patients the care they need, and building a dependable, sustainable health care system.
British Columbia's health system faces many challenges. These include the need for flexible care options for a changing and aging population; rising demand for new and expensive drugs, equipment and technology; increasing incidence of chronic diseases; and unsustainable funding increases. The result is we have to redesign our health system to ensure it provides high quality health outcomes in a manner that is sustainable into the future.
We have taken significant steps to address these challenges and to improve the delivery of services, however there is more to be done. As we move forward with redesigning the health system, I appreciate the dedication and contributions of government's partners in health care: BC's health authorities, health professionals and caregivers. Our shared efforts are making a real, positive difference to the health and well being of this province's citizens, families and communities.
Our continued success depends on our individual and collective efforts to first and foremost keep people healthy by preventing illness and disease, and then, when people do become ill, to provide them with appropriate and timely care. As we redesign the system, it is essential we use leading-edge research and evidence-based decision-making to ensure investments in the health system produce excellence in health outcomes and care. BC is a leader in many areas of health care reform, and we are already well on our way to re-engineering and redesigning the system to ensure citizens of today and tomorrow are healthy and well cared for.
The 2003/04 Annual Service Plan Report highlights the progress we have made as well as the challenges and goals still before us. Together, we can achieve our vision of a healthier population with a sustainable public health care system that meets the diverse and changing needs of British Columbians.
Honourable Colin Hansen
Minister of Health Services
Message from the Minister of State for Mental Health and Addiction Services
As the 2003/04 Annual Service Plan Report shows, British Columbia has made substantial progress in mental health and addiction services over the past three years. During this time, the Ministry of Health Services has worked together with care providers, community leaders, other provincial ministries, individuals and their families to revitalize BC's mental health and addictions system.
Together, these partners have been transforming the mental health and addictions system into one that is recovery-oriented and evidence-based — a health system that best meets the needs of British Columbians. Changes and improvements include bringing together the policy, long-range planning and management of mental health and addiction services. Now, health authorities plan and integrate mental health and addiction services across the province.
An important initiative is the development of a permanent communications infrastructure for mental health literacy in the province. We have brought together provincial mental health and addictions agencies to develop state of the knowledge documents, information materials and self-management toolkits to assist individuals and families to manage their health and make healthy choices. This work is parallel to our ongoing work with the Mental Health Evaluation and Community Consultation Unit at UBC, and with the Centre for Addiction Research BC located at the University of Victoria.
We are also making connections to improve the continuum of care from childhood to adulthood. Last year, the provincial government launched Canada's first comprehensive child and youth mental health plan through the Ministry of Children and Family Development. This five-year plan focuses on early identification of at-risk children and on providing appropriate treatment and support services to youth who are affected by mental illness. Already under development is the child, adolescent and women's mental health centre, expected to open early in 2006.
Our partnerships and efforts continue to help increase awareness and create a health system that both acknowledges mental illness and addictions and promotes mental health to improve care and wellness for individuals, families and communities throughout the province.
Honourable Susan Brice
Minister of State for Mental Health and Addiction Services