BC Healthy Living Alliance (BCHLA) 2010 Budget Submission

The BC Healthy Living Alliance (BCHLA) is pleased to make our submission to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services. BCHLA continues to assert that it is essential to take further action on those factors which influence the health of the people of our province and contribute to ever growing health care costs. The costs of treating illness is taking up an ever increasing percentage of the total provincial budget and will continue to do so if we do not move ahead to provide the programs, incentives and tools to enable British Columbians to take the necessary actions to live healthier lives (see Appendix A for further information). Planning and further support is needed to ensure that the gains we have made are cemented.This year BCHLA released its report Healthy Futures for BC Families – Policy Recommendations for a Healthier British Columbia which identifies areas for improvement and makes recommendations on how we can lower the demand for expensive treatments and make the most of our health care budget.

The report urges all levels of government to work with communities, First Nations, business and the non-profit sector to put in place policies that can improve health outcomes in BC and ease the burden on the health care system by addressing social issues. The recommendations made in the report are a result of consultations with 360 representatives from 202 groups across the north, south, east and west of this province and form the basis for our submission to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services.

This year we come to you at a very challenging time. We do not underestimate the difficult task you will have to balance all of the ever increasing demands on the provincial budget at a time when the province is in a deficit position. However, we would continue to assert that healthy public policy coupled with far-sighted planning and prudent investments continue to be as important in challenging times as they are in more affluent periods. These are necessary if we are to retain the progress that has been made and to continue to develop and improve the quality of life in British Columbia.


BCHLA recommends that the members of the Finance and Government Services Committee integrate into the 2010 provincial budget, a range of measures we have outlined below to reduce the burden of chronic disease and improve health outcomes and the sustainability of the health care system in British Columbia.

The following are the areas of highest priority for immediate action. Some recommendations have been proposed in earlier years but are still not implemented, while others are new recommendations based upon our experience and evidence from either BC or other jurisdictions.

Click to view our key recommendations this year:

1. Invest in measures to reduce health inequities by addressing the Social Determinants of Health.
2. Invest in integrated and collaborative approaches to health promotion and healthy living.


It is recognized that the investments required to implement these recommendations will not, in many cases, come from the Ministry of Health or Ministry of Healthy Living and Sport but from other ministries. Over time, however, the provincial government and the people of British Columbia would benefit as the pressures on the health care system are alleviated as more citizens are able to live healthy lives and reduce their risk of early and preventable chronic disease.

We recognize the challenging financial times faced by governments and citizens alike. This government articulated a bold vision when the economy was healthy and we trust that the BC government will remain committed to this vision and its support of healthy living policies and programs. Indeed it is during such difficult economic times that such support is most needed. At this juncture, we feel that there is a solid evidence base, in addition to significant public support, based on public opinion research commissioned by BCHLA, to justify investments in these actions. With an action plan and prudent investments, we can build a healthier future for all British Columbians.


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