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Glen Abernethy – Enhancing Accountability in the Health and Social Services System

Glen Abernethy - Official PortraitMr. Speaker, the Department of Health and Social services is committed to publicly reporting on the performance of the health and social services system and our progress towards achieving the Legislative Assembly’s goal of an effective and efficient Government.

The Department of Health and Social Services uses a number of different reports to ensure we are accountable to this Assembly and to the residents of the NWT.

The Northwest Territories Health Status Report is published every five years and presents updated information on the health status of the NWT population. It is an important resource to help understand health trends, the changing burden of disease, and the effect of lifestyle choices on chronic disease and mortality.

Physician Services and Hospital Utilization reports are also published every five years and provide profiles of the top five reasons or conditions, for which treatment was required.  This again helps to provide a profile of our population, the burden of disease and the system’s response.

An addictions and substance use report is published every three years and reports on behaviors in the population and the effectiveness of policy and programs, in changing behaviors.

Health Services Client Satisfaction Surveys are conducted and reported on every two years. In 2013/14, we also undertook a client satisfaction survey of the Community Counselling Program.

The Health and Social Services Annual Report forms a significant component of our commitment to overall accountability. The theme of this year’s Annual Report is: 25 years of delivering health care in the North – recognizing the 25th anniversary of the devolution of health care.  The report measures progress in a number of key areas such as:

  • Leadership and financial stewardship;
  • Innovation in service delivery;
  • Progress in achieving the Strategic Plan priorities;
  • A report on the medical care plan; and
  • An update on the performance measures outlined in the Strategic Plan.

Mr. Speaker, I would also like to highlight some of the work the Department of Health and Social Services is doing to improve accountability and reporting.  We are updating our accountability framework.

Through this project, we have established an initial set of 25 system performance indicators that will publicly track and monitor the performance of the NWT Health and Social Services system across number of areas.

These include:  leadership, allocation of resources, access to services and utilization, satisfaction with services, the system’s response to population health trends, burden of disease and changes in the behaviors of the population.

The Department of Health and Social Services is also working with the Health and Social Services Authorities to develop an NWT Accountability Framework for Patient Safety.  The NWT Patient Safety Framework will ensure that residents of the NWT can expect consistent standards for patient safety, regardless of where in the NWT they access services.

Mr. Speaker, accountability is fundamental to establishing good management practices and the Department of Health and Social Services will continue to report on our actions and our performance.

At the appropriate time I will be tabling the 2012-2013 NWT Health and Social Services System Annual Report.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.