Ministry of Health
Ensuring health-care spending can be sustained in B.C.
VICTORIA – Medical Services Plan premiums are one way the Province of British Columbia helps provide increased investments in health-care services to meet growing demand. Revenue from these premiums currently funds about 11 per cent of total health-care costs in B.C.
After seven years of unchanged fees for provincial health-care coverage, government announced in the September 2009 Budget Update that MSP premiums would rise by six per cent in January 2010, 2011 and 2012 to support rising health-care spending. Any future changes would be announced in future budgets.
Maximum monthly premium rates effective Jan. 1, 2012 will increase by $3.50 per month to $64.00 for single persons, by $7.00 per month to $116.00 for two-person families and by $7.00 per month to $128.00 for families of three or more persons.
There are built-in protections for lower-income British Columbians to help ensure the MSP program is fair. As of Sept. 25, 2011, there were 959,131 B.C. residents subsidized by the MSP premium assistance programs. More than 800,000 individuals and families pay no MSP premiums at all, and the rest receive partial subsidies. MSP Premium Assistance was enhanced in January 2010. The enhancement was designed to ensure 2012 MSP rates for those receiving premium assistance remain lower than they were in 2009. As a result of this enhancement, approximately 180,000 British Columbians saw their premium costs reduced or eliminated.
MSP premiums support increased spending in areas such as improved health-care facilities, additional equipment, more surgeries and increases to the PharmaCare budget.
Increased health funding, including MSP premiums, continues to support world-class advancements for health care in British Columbia, including the longest life expectancy in Canada, the lowest heart attack rate in Canada and the country’s lowest cancer mortality rate.
Budget 2011 invests almost $2 billion in sustaining front line service delivery over three years, an increase of more than 13 per cent compared to 2010-11. This includes:
· $1.4 billion for services delivered by health authorities and other service delivery partners, including acute-care services, community and home-based services, assisted living and residential-care services, mental health and addictions services, health promotion, disease prevention and other public-health services.
• $438 million for the Medical Services Plan to fund increased volumes of physician and laboratory services, and recruitment and retention of specialists and family physicians, particularly in rural and remote communities.
• $144 million for PharmaCare for coverage of new drugs and volume and price increases for prescription drugs.
Examples of recent capital projects underway include:
· New $62.2-million mental-health facility at Lions Gate Hospital, which includes $38.2 million from the Province.
· Groundbreaking for a clinical-support building – part of a $90.5-million phase 1 redevelopment – as part of the bigger BC Children’s and BC Women’s Hospitals project.
· A $2.25-million expansion of a kidney dialysis clinic in Cumberland on Vancouver Island.
· A new, $512-million Surrey Memorial Hospital expansion project got underway with an acute-care tower and new emergency department.
· Construction of the $47-million East Pandosy Clinical Support Building commenced as part of the $448 million Interior Heart & Surgical Centre project.
Government spending on health care in 2011-12 will be almost 42 per cent of the total provincial budget, accounting for $17.5 billion – an increase of 86 per cent from $9.4 billion in 2000-01. Over the next three years, total government spending on health is planned to rise to a record $18.5 billion by 2013-14 – up $9.1 billion from 2000-01.
The budget for PharmaCare is one of the fastest growing areas in health care. Since 2001, the PharmaCare budget has increased by more than 74 per cent, from $660 million to more than $1.1 billion in 2011-12.
The total number of surgeries received by British Columbians in 2010-11 was 514,000, of which around half were never placed on the waiting list. This is an increase of 22 per cent from 421,000 surgeries in 2000-01.
Since 2001, almost $7 billion has been spent on capital projects in British Columbia. Over the next three years, British Columbia’s health-care system will benefit from investments such as new medical equipment and modernized health facilities as part of a $2.1-billion health-sector capital plan.
Media Relations Manager
Ministry of Health
Ministry of Finance
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