District Health Authorities Business Plans Approved

first_img The priorities for health-care services in Nova Scotia have been confirmed with the approval of eight district health authority(DHA) business plans by the provincial government. In total,funding to all DHAs and the IWK Health Centre has increased by$78.5 million this fiscal year over the previous year. “The introduction of multi-year funding has helped supportimproved financial planning for the districts and that,ultimately, is very good news for everyone who makes use of thehealth-care system,” said Health Minister Angus MacIsaac. “As our population ages, as new technologies and drugs becomeavailable and the expectations of patients increase, the demandson the whole health-care system are growing dramatically. That’swhy this planning process is so important,” added Mr. MacIsaac. “Stable funding and rigorous planning are enabling the districtsto respond to local priorities — to invest in areas that havethe greatest impact on patient care. The new Women’s andChildren’s Health Centre in the South Shore District HealthAuthority and expansion of rehabilitation service at the IWK aregood examples of planning at work.” Business plans have been approved for the IWK Health Centre,South Shore District Health Authority, South West Nova DistrictHealth Authority, Annapolis Valley District Health Authority,Cumberland Health Authority, Pictou County Health Authority,Guysborough Antigonish Strait Health Authority and the CapeBreton District Health Authority. Discussions are still underwaywith Colchester East Hants Health Authority and Capital Health tofinalize their business plans. Over the last fiscal year, a number of changes have been made tothe base funding to recognize the growing cost pressures on theDHAs. An additional $28 million was added to the base for theDHAs’ budget — $9 million to cover benefits increases and $19million for costs associated with overtime and oncology. DHAsalso received an increase of seven per cent for non-salarybudgets — the second year of a multi-year funding commitment. The budget for 2004-05 also includes annualized funding for newprograms announced in the past year, including $5 million for the cardiac catheterization lab at the QEII Health Sciences Centre, $719,000 for operating costs for the new MRI in Cape BretonDistrict Health Authority and $4.4 million in additional fundingfor expansion of orthopedics. These initiatives are part of the government’s priorities for health care outlined in Your Health Matters, its health strategyreleased in 2003. These priorities include health promotion,improving access through shorter wait lists, seniors’ care andhealth services in communities. At $1.1 billion, the budget for the DHAs, accounts for almosthalf of the Department of Health’s 2004-05 budget of $2.3billion. In addition to direct funding to DHAs, an additional $125.1million spent directly from the Department of Health’s budget onemergency health services, long-term care and home care,physician services and Pharmacare programs provides healthservices to Nova Scotians across the province. “We have an integrated health-care system where all thecomponents — district health authorities, provincial programsand Department of Health — contribute to improving the healthcare of Nova Scotians,” said Mr. MacIsaac. Mr. MacIsaac credited the development of the business planningprocess over the last four years with contributing to theprogress in budgeting. “However, we recognize that, in order to fund more new andexpanded programs, we need to secure sustainable funding from thefederal government,” said Mr. MacIsaac. District Health Authorities’ Business Plans Approvedlast_img

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