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As required by the Treasury Board Directive for the Management of Expenditures on Travel, Hospitality and Conferences, this report provides information on the total annual expenditures for each of travel, hospitality and conferences for the Health Canada for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2011.
Health Canada's mandate is to help Canadians maintain and improve their health. The Department is committed to improving the lives of all Canadians and to making this country's population among the healthiest in the world, as measured by longevity, lifestyle and effective use of the public health care system.
First, as a regulator, Health Canada is responsible for the regulatory regime governing the safety of products including food, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, natural health products, consumer products, chemicals, radiation emitting devices, cosmetics and pesticides. It also regulates tobacco products and controlled substances, public health on aircraft, ships and other passenger conveyances, and helps manage the health risks posed by environmental factors such as air, water, radiation and contaminants.
The Department is also a service provider. The federal government has provided basic health services to First Nations since 1904. Today, Health Canada provides basic primary care services in approximately 200 remote First Nations communities, home and community care in 600 First Nations communities, support for health promotion programs in Inuit communities across four regions and a limited range of medically-necessary health-related goods and services not insured by private or other public health insurance plans to eligible First Nations and Inuit. The Department also funds or delivers community-based health programs and public health activities to First Nations and Inuit. These activities promote health, prevent chronic disease and address issues such as substance abuse and the spread of infectious diseases.
Health Canada is a catalyst for innovation, a funder, and an information provider in Canada's health system. It works closely with provincial and territorial governments to develop national approaches on health system issues and promotes the pan-Canadian adoption of best practices. It administers the Canada Health Act, which embodies national principles to ensure a universal and equitable publicly-funded health care system. It provides policy support for the federal government's Canada Health Transfer to provinces and territories, and provides funding through grants and contributions to various organizations to help meet Health Canada's objectives. Lastly, the Department draws on leading-edge science and policy research to generate and share knowledge and information to support decision-making by Canadians, development and implementation of regulations and standards, and health innovation.
More information on Health Canada activities, plans and performance are detailed in the Health Canada Departmental Performance Report.
Health Canada travel, hospitality and conferences costs are associated with activities and events necessary to support the statutory, regulatory and the service provider requirements to deliver services to Canadians and to meet government wide priorities and departmental mandates.
As summarized in the table below, Health Canada's expenditure for travel, hospitality, and conferences (THC) totalled $203.4M in 2010-2011, of which $171.8M or 84.5% was for medical transportation, including land / air ambulance and others to support (1) eligible First Nations and Inuit clients under the Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) Program to access medically necessary health services that cannot be obtained on-reserve or in their community of residence ($164M), and (2) eligible former students and their families under the Indian Residential Schools Resolution (IRS) Health Support Program to access mental and emotional support services ($7.8M) the Department is obligated to provide under the 2006 Court-Approved IRS Settlement Agreement.
Regular non-medical expenditure in 2010-2011, amounting to $30.1M or 14.8% of Health Canada's total THC envelope, was for other essential travel requirements critical to health and safety of Canadians, such as those related to compliance and enforcement activities for various regulatory programs involving food, pharmaceuticals, consumer products, and others.
Hospitality and conferences expenditures in 2010-2011, totalling $1.4M or less than 1% of the Health Canada's THC envelope, was associated with minimal, essential activities that were necessary for delivery of Health Canada programs and services, including conducting business with other levels of government, industry, or public interest groups as well as departmental business meetings and working sessions.
Overall, Health Canada manages travel, hospitality, and conference activities / expenditures with prudence and probity so that they demonstrate value for money and use the most economical options to minimize costs whenever possible.
Total annual expenditures for travel, hospitality and conferences of Health Canada for 2010-2011 are summarized below:
|Expenditure Category||Expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2011 (In thousands of dollars)|
Table 1 footnotes
|Travel - Public Servants||$25,698|
|Travel - Non-Public Servants||$4,440|
|Sub Total Regular (Non-Medical) travel||$30,138|
|Travel - Medical Transport||$171,820|
|International Travel by Minister and Minister's Staff Table 1 footnote 1||$48|