LifeSciences British Columbia was pleased to welcome The Honourable Kevin Falcon, Minister of Health Services for the Province of British Columbia, at our recent LifeSciences BC Breakfast Speaking Event on Feb. 5, 2010. Almost 150 guests from all areas in the life sciences attended the event at the Pan Pacific Hotel.
We were also joined by Nigel Halsted, Research Associate from BCIT's Product and Process Applied Research Team and Dr. Chris Harvey-Clark, Executive Director of the BC Preclinical Research Consortium who introduced their respective organizations and capabilities to the local life sciences community.
Guests fill the room at the Pan Pacific Hotel for the LifeSciences BC Breakfast Speaking Event featuring Minister Kevin Falcon on Feb. 5, 2010.
Minister Falcon shared Government’s perspective, vision and plan for the future of healthcare in the Province, and the role the local life sciences industry plays in that vision. The Minister acknowledged the challenges faced by our healthcare system and recognized the need for a concerted, comprehensive and multifaceted solution combining our strengths in research, commercialization and care.
The Minister noted that as the provincial healthcare budget is set to increase by approximately 20% over the next three years; we must work together to implement innovative efficiences in the system, new technologies, and new ways of doing things.
He hoted that recent investments include $48 million towards the implementation of the Seek and Treat Program to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS announced on February 4, 2010 at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS; a $23.7-million investment in cancer care and treatment in the Southern Interior; and the Province’s $22.5 million contribution to the $60 million Robert H.N. Ho Research Centre at Vancouver General Hospital.
The Honourable Kevin Falcon, Minister of Health Services for the Province of British Columbia.
Minister Falcon recognized that BC’s world-class science is attracting investments internationally by large organizations including Pfizer who recently announced a three-year, $9-million research collaboration with the BC Cancer Agency and the Vancouver Prostate Centre, a University of British Columbia (UBC) and Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) Centre of Excellence, to tackle new treatment avenues for breast, ovarian and prostate cancer. He also acknowledged Merck Frosst on their recent $1.5 million commitment over three years to the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS to help evaluate the Seek and Treat pilot program.
The Minister indicated he and his caucus olleagues plan to visit more of BC’s academic and research institutions and Centres of Excellence in order to gain a better understanding of what is happening in the sector, and to continue showcasing BC’s strengths in research and innovation both locally and internationally. He acknowledged LifeSciences BC leadership and ongoing communication with the Government on the needs, issues and successes of our sector and hopes to continue working with us and our constituents on these issues.
Minister Falcon answering questions from the audience.
LifeSciences BC has had the opportunity recently to meet and work with Minister Falcon and his office on several occasions and we look forward to further engagements with the Minister to ensure BC’s position as a national leader and international model for excellence in the delivery of sustained innovative and equitable healthcare into the future.
Left to right: Dr. Michael Hayden, Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics; Dr. John Challis, Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research; Minister Kevin Falcon, Province of British Columbia; Dr. Simon Pimstone, Xenon Pharmaceuticals; Karimah Es Sabar, LifeSciences British Columbia; Dr. Alan Winter, Genome British Columiba.
The LifeSciences BC Breakfast Speaking Series is generously sponsored by: