The Nova Scotia Department of Health has approved the 2004-05health services business plan for the Capital District HealthAuthority. The plan includes a balanced budget of $517 million. “Nova Scotians expect us to provide a sustainable health-caresystem over the long term,” said Health Minister Angus MacIsaac.”We need to maintain a balanced budget in order to meet thisexpectation.” The Department of Health announced in December 2004 it wouldallow Capital Health to revise its existing business plan. Theplan is now complete and has been approved by cabinet. The department wanted to ensure Capital Health’s outstandingbudget issues were addressed, with the least impact on deliveryof health-care services. These measures prolonged the formalapproval process. Each of the province’s district health authorities and the IWKHealth Centre are currently in the process of submitting proposed2005-06 health services plans to the province. In keeping with standard practice, the district healthauthorities and the IWK will then be informed of their approvedfinal business plans following the release of the 2005-06provincial budget.
According of a UN spokesperson in New York, Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Representative for Liberia, Abou Moussa, and UN Resident Coordinator Marc de Bernis returned to Monrovia over the weekend.In a letter to the Security Council last week, the Secretary-General had said he was sending the two back to Monrovia to assist in preparations for the return of UN and associated personnel. At the height of the conflict, precarious security conditions forced the suspension of virtually all international relief operations in most parts of the country.Mr. Annan’s letter informed the Council of a number of other urgent initiatives he had taken to address the grave situation, notably, naming Jacques Klein, former head of the UN Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH), as his Special Representative for Liberia to lead and coordinate the activities of the UN in that country.In other news, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) warned last Friday of a growing food crisis in Liberia, saying that hundreds of thousands of displaced people in camps outside Monrovia will soon face starvation if a peaceful solution is not reached immediately. Arnold Vercken, WFP’s Deputy Director for West Africa, said, “Our trucks are loaded and ready to go, but we have no guarantees of security.”