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.
In the letter – signed by Mr Pullman, Malorie Blackman and Joanna Trollope among others – the writers express concern at the growing number of websites where users can illegally download books, saying they have the “potential to destroy” the UK’s “great literary heritage”. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Online book piracy is an “offence against moral justice” that “any decent Government” should protect authors from, the writer Philip Pullman has said.Mr Pullman, the president of the Society of Authors, criticised Britain’s lax copyright laws that are failing to tackle the “increasingly prevalent” number of websites where novels are downloaded for free without the author’s permission.Mr Pullman’s comments come as 34 leading British writers from the Society of Authors signed an open letter to Greg Clark, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, calling on the Government to do more to strengthen current copyright rules.Speaking to the Telegraph, Mr Pullman said: “Online piracy of books, music, and other expressions of the human spirit needs to be properly understood: it’s an offence against moral justice.“It’s the very opposite of freedom of speech, because it acts to prevent those who create beauty, knowledge, consolation or delight from earning even a modest living from their efforts.“The law of copyright is one of the bastions of civilized living, but the acid rain of online piracy is slowly dissolving something we thought was set in stone. Surely it should be a fundamental duty of any decent government to defend the rights of those who help to create what civilization is.” A spokeswoman for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said: “This Government takes infringement of copyright very seriously, and we understand the damage this can do to authors’ livelihoods.“The IPO will continue to work with authors, online market places and social media platforms to tackle this unacceptable behaviour, and agree ways of reducing this infringement.” The letter cites research by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) which found that in 2017 a sixth of e-books read online in the UK – around four million books – were pirated.Writing to Mr Clark in the Telegraph, the authors note: “We are concerned that websites offering illegal downloads of books are becoming increasingly prevalent.“We do not want to give any of these sites publicity by naming them here, but they can easily be found.“The growth of online book piracy has the potential to damage the legitimate book market andmake it even harder for authors to make a living from their work.“The UK’s great literary heritage has always been underpinned by a robust copyright regime.Unfortunately, this regime is not respected by online pirates, who flagrantly infringe copyright law by both copying our books and offering them for download.“As Secretary of State whose department has responsibility for copyright and piracy, we are calling on you to take action against the blight of online book piracy.” Philip Pullman’s classic book The Golden Compass was made into a Hollywood film starring Nicole Kidman (right) and Dakota Blue Richards (left)