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NDP critic predicts post-election cuts to BC health care

British Columbia health authorities will have to find another $319 million in cuts over the next few years to meet the government's budget projections, said NDP health critic Adrian Dix.

Recently released 2008-2009 service plans for the six health authorities show “dramatic cuts” will need to be made, he said. Vancouver Coastal Health Authority has a $200 million unfunded shortfall over the next two years and the Vancouver Island Health Authority's is $107 million.

“The balanced budgets in 2009/10 and 2010/11 exclude cost pressures of $91.1 million (2009/10) and $109.7 million (2010/11),” according to a note to the financial statements on page 33 of Vancouver Coastal's service plan.

VIHA's plan makes a similar statement.

The health authorities will either need more money than the government has budgeted, or they will need to make cuts.

“That will come in cuts after the election,” said Dix. Finance Minister Colin Hansen pitched the budget last week as designed to protect health care, Dix said, but in reality it fails to do that.

In December, the Tyee reported, the health ministry told health authorities to delay preparing their service plans for 2009-2010.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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