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.
RottenTomatoes.com critic rating: 59 per cent. Audience rating: 93 per cent want to seeCatch up on all the recent Weekend Movies > WHICH NEW MOVIE release is worth the price of a cinema ticket this weekend?We’re here to help you decide just that, with these trailers.Song for Marion(E1EntertainmentUK/YouTube)For fans of: Songs, older people, being streetAvoid if: Cute older people singing naughty words makes you feel a bit oddOlder people singing modern pop songs? Plenty of comedic fodder there apparently. The lovely Vanessa Redgrave plays Marion, a singer married to the cantankerous Arthur (Terence Stamp) who (according to the trailer that has only gone and told us everything that’s flipping going to happen up until the climax of the movie, thanks) finds herself too ill to sing with the local ‘unconventional’ choir… so Arthur steps in to help. Now that’s love. RottenTomatoes.com critic rating: 67 per cent. Audience rating: 75 per centCloud Atlas(TrailersPlayground/YouTube)For fans of: Epic, epic, EPIC filmsAvoid if: You preferred watching Tom Hanks taking to a football(The author of the book this is based on, Cloud Atlas, lives in Cork, so I’d firstly like to say a big ‘Hi there!’ to David Mitchell.) Ahem. This film adaptation of the award-winning Cloud Atlas was written by the Wachowski siblings (the duo behind the Matrix triology), and basically has ‘epic’ written all over it.Bringing us from the South Pacific to Britain to Korea, this movie examines the idea of the soul and reincarnation, using six different but connected stories. Sound as confusing as hell? It’s not exactly, and it looks like quite the journey. Like I said, epic. RottenTomatoes.com critic rating: 65 per cent. Audience rating: 73 per centTo The Wonder(OptimumReleasing/YouTube)For fans of: Acting with emotions, man; Mont St MichelAvoid if: The description ‘an art drama about love’ makes you want to tell someone: ‘go love yourself!’Terence Malick (he of Days of Heaven) is back with a film all about love, and you just know that it isn’t going to be straightforward. Ben Affleck plays a man torn between his two beautiful lovers (Olga Kurylenko and Rachel McAdams), but this being a Malick film we don’t see the subject approached in a straightforward fashion – his struggle is reflected in the turmoil experienced by priest Father Quintana (Javier Bardem).This got some mixed reception at recent festivals (notably at Venice), so don’t go expecting a run-of-the-mill film.