By Ted Bruce
A newly released report by the Auditor General of BC shows that health care expenditures on prevention in BC are in the 3% – 4% for most health authorities. According to the Auditor General this represents $536 million of the $12.6 billion in health authority expenditures. What is most interesting is the comment in the Report, that prevention has been a dominant theme in recent Throne Speeches.
Clearly there is a serious disconnect: what we need in health care, and what the government states is a priority, and how money is being spent. A major infusion of funds for prevention is needed. PHABC’s position is that the amount should double.
What is needed? Clearly, if the government is serious in Throne Speeches since 2008, as reported by the Auditor General, we need political will. And funding needs to follow. Interestingly, the Ministry of Health is developing a new Public Health Plan for the Province. A central feature of this Plan should be clarity about prevention priorities and details on new funding to support these. This matter is too important. The numbers are out. The funding and action must be next.
B.C. spends little on healthy living, disease prevention despite its priority status, auditor general says, Vancouver Sun, Thursday, January 17th, 2013.
B.C. spends little on health wellness and prevention, says watchdog John Doyle, Victoria Times Colonist, Friday, January 18th, 2013.
Read the Auditor General’s full report: http://www.bcauditor.com/pubs/2013/special/health-funding-explained (See page 6 for an overview of health spending in British Columbia, 2011/2012)
Read the Auditor General’s Project Overview: http://www.bcauditor.com/online/pubs/775/775
– Ted Bruce is the Past President of the Public Health Association of BC.