October 29, 2010 - Minister of Health and Social Services Sandy Lee has responded to the report of the Supplementary Health Benefits Joint Working Group.
The 2007 Policy on Supplementary Health Benefits will be withdrawn and the Department of Health and Social Services will concentrate efforts on ensuring existing extended health benefits programs are fairly and consistently administered. The GNWT will now begin work to advance changes in the life of the 16th Assembly based on:
- developing a pharmaceutical strategy to include generic drugs, drug pricing and efficiencies, and cost containment of pharmaceuticals, procurement, distribution and access;
- eliminating the 2004 grandfathering of Extended Health Benefits; and
- amending the Extended Health Benefits and Métis Health Benefits programs to require the use of third party insurance as the first option, and to ensure parity with the Federal Non-Insured Health Benefits program.
“Decisions surrounding health care, particularly who pays and for what, are some of the most contentious and sensitive that a government faces,” Minister Lee acknowledged. “We have agreed to move forward with changes consistent with the principles agreed to by the Joint Working Group, and to implement these changes during the life of this Government.”
“There were principles in the Policy that had merit,” said Mrs. Jane Groenewegen, Hay River South MLA and Chair of the Standing Committee on Priorities and Planning. “Our Report has highlighted the key principles and issues that need to be addressed in order to ensure that residents receive fair and equitable health care benefits.”
For a copy of the Report, please visit: www.assembly.gov.nt.ca
For more information, contact:
Office of the Premier/Cabinet
Government of the Northwest Territories
Phone: (867) 669-2302
Public Affairs and Communications Advisor
Legislative Assembly of the NWT
Phone: (867) 669-2230