Premiers Meeting in Victoria – An Ounce of Prevention…

Several days ago, BCAHL sent an open letter to the premiers urging them to prioritize chronic disease prevention in their deliberations on the sustainability of the health care system at the Council of the Federation meeting happening this weekend (Jan 15-16) in Victoria.

Over the last several months we’ve been reflecting on the last health accord and discussing what we wanted to see come out of the new agreement. Of course for us, it’s always about health promotion and chronic disease prevention but it’s always about that because those are really big and important issues.

Chronic diseases, which include cancer, diabetes, and heart and lung diseases, consume the largest proportion of healthcare costs and are the largest causes of death and disability in the province. Eighty per cent of heart disease, 50 per cent of cancers and much of type 2 diabetes and lung disease can be prevented with the support of healthy living.

The 2014 Health Accord which will establish the health transfer payments to the provinces and territories for the following ten years looks as though it’s largely a done deal. BCAHL had hoped that the new Accord would have included some performance measures and targets to steer success in disease prevention in the same way that the last accord was able to make progress on surgical wait-lists.

BCAHL’s Chair Barbara Kaminsky who is also the CEO of the Canadian Cancer Society, BC and Yukon said, “What gets measured and funded gets results. But even without this direction from the federal government, the Premiers can collaborate and work towards nationwide standards and goals to reduce chronic diseases, recognizing their financial and human costs. We wish them well in their deliberations.”

Rita Koutsodimos
Manager, Advocacy & Communications
January 2011

 

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