development of a funding formula; development of a continuing care needs plan; improvements in the use of databases to improve quality decision making; targeted additional funding, when available, to CEHHA; improvements in financial reporting on costs and workloads. Financial assessments of two district health authorities (DHAs)show that they are well managed, and address efficiency issuesproactively. Colchester East Hants Health Authority (CEHHA) and Pictou CountyHealth Authority, agreed to Value for Money assessments last fallas part of an evaluation of their business plans. The plans werebeing evaluated due to projected deficits by each DHA. “We were pleased to have confirmed through the assessments thatthe investment we are making in the health-care system is beingmanaged wisely,” said Health Minister Angus MacIsaac. “Thecommunities served by those districts should feel confident thattheir health-care needs are being met by well-run organizations.” The assessments did result in some recommendations for both DHAs,including: Mr. MacIsaac noted that the Department of Health has initiativesunderway to address some of the recommendations. Specifically,these initiatives include developing a strategic framework forcontinuing care across the province, and the rollout of the NovaScotia Health Information system which will establish anelectronic clinical information system — including electronichealth records. “We know the DHAs need larger budgets, that is why in the lastyear we have added millions more to the base budget — $19million for ongoing operational cost pressures and $9 million forwage and benefits increases. We have also guaranteed a seven percent increase in their budgets for hospitals and other serviceseach year for three years,” said Mr. MacIsaac. “We have been able to accomplish a great deal in health care inthe last five years. The challenge we face is there are moredemands for services than the province can meet with the currentlevel of funding from the federal government,” said Mr. MacIsaac. “A long-term commitment to sustainable funding from the federalgovernment would allow us to address the fundingrecommendations.” The Value for Money assessments were conducted in the twodistricts from October 2003 to December 2003. The final report isposted on the department’s website at www.gov.ns.ca/health underreports.