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Outsourcing health administration not bringing expected benefits: BC auditor

B.C.'s auditor general says the government's decision to outsource administration of the Medical Services Plan and PharmaCare to a U.S.-based company has failed to bring the expected benefits.

In a new report, John Doyle says the province has not held Maximus BC Health accountable for its achievements since the 10-year contract was signed in 2004.

At the time, the government came under fire for handing control over sensitive information to the subsidiary of an American firm as part of a $324-million deal.

While Doyle says new security practices have been implemented, key tools to identify privacy breaches are still not in place and there's a risk that such breaches are happening without the Health Ministry knowing about them.

The government has fined Maximus in the past for violating service level requirements and at one point, callers inquiring about medical premiums had to wait five times longer than expected before they could speak to someone.

Doyle says while the company has improved some service levels by implementing new call centre technology, the government still needs to let the public know what's being achieved and at what cost.

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