BILL 21 — 2008


HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia, enacts as follows:

1 The preamble to the Medicare Protection Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 286, is amended

(a) in the second paragraph by striking out "and public administration" and substituting ", public administration and sustainability", and

(b) by adding the following paragraphs after the second paragraph:

WHEREAS the people and government of British Columbia are committed to building a public health care system that is founded on the values of individual choice, personal responsibility, innovation, transparency and accountability;

WHEREAS the people and government of British Columbia are committed to developing an efficient, effective and integrated health care system aimed at promoting and improving the health of all citizens and providing high quality patient care that is medically appropriate and that ensures reasonable access to medically necessary services consistent with the Canada Health Act (Canada);

WHEREAS the people and government of British Columbia wish to ensure that all publicly funded health care services are responsive to patients' needs and designed to foster improvements in individual and public health outcomes and ongoing value-for-money for all taxpayers; .

2 The following sections are added:

Guiding principles

5.1  In performing its responsibilities and exercising its powers under section 5 (1) and in performing its responsibilities under section 5 (2), in addition to taking into account any broad policy issues and other matters the commission considers relevant, the commission must have regard to the following principles, as set out in sections 5.2 to 5.7:

(a) the principles established under the Canada Health Act (Canada) as the criteria for a province to qualify for a full cash contribution for a fiscal year, those principles being public administration, comprehensiveness, universality, portability and accessibility;

(b) the principle of sustainability.

Public administration

5.2  The plan is publicly funded and operated on an accountable basis.


5.3  The plan includes as benefits

(a) all medically required services provided by enrolled medical practitioners,

(b) all required services provided by enrolled health care practitioners and prescribed as benefits under section 51,

(c) benefits that are performed in approved diagnostic facilities, and

(d) any benefits that are performed by practitioners in a health facility that has entered into an agreement with one or more regional health boards designated under the Health Authorities Act or with the Provincial Health Services Authority, in accordance with the agreement.


5.4 The plan applies to 100% of beneficiaries on uniform terms and conditions.


5.5 The plan applies to the following individuals:

(a) beneficiaries who are temporarily absent from British Columbia or moving to another province;

(b) eligible individuals who are moving to British Columbia;

(c) eligible individuals visiting British Columbia from another province that has entered into a reciprocal agreement with British Columbia for medical and health care services, in accordance with that agreement.


5.6 The plan provides benefits on uniform terms and conditions on a basis that does not impede or preclude reasonable access to benefits by beneficiaries.


5.7 The plan is administered in a manner that is sustainable over the long term, providing for the health needs of the residents of British Columbia and assuring that annual health expenditures are within taxpayers' ability to pay without compromising the ability of the government to meet the health needs and other needs of current and future generations.

Consequential Amendment

Health Authorities Act

3 Section 3 of the Health Authorities Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 180, is amended by adding the following subsection:

(4.1) In exercising the authority under subsection (1) or (2), the minister must have regard to the principles set out in sections 5.2 to 5.7 of the Medicare Protection Act.


4  This Act comes into force on the date of Royal Assent.