Background/ Why Is This Important?
In order to improve the health of the British Columbia population, it's important to look beyond treating disease and focus efforts on health promotion and disease prevention. Good health begins in childhood, and failure to protect and promote the well being of children is associated with increased risk and cost across a wide range of health outcomes in later life.
Based on an individual's age and sex, a variety of primary and early secondary prevention services may be offered as a way to promote health and prevent disease. These services can include standardized screening, behavioural interventions and preventive medications such as immunization.
BC's Lifetime Prevention Schedule (LPS) is standardized, evidence-based review process to determine priority clinical prevention policies and services at a population level. A Lifetime Prevention Schedule Expert Committee uses evidence and economic modeling to assess the degree to which potential clinical prevention services for British Columbians are clinically effective, cost effective and have a substantial population health impact. Recommendations are then provided to government regarding specific clinical prevention policies and services to support and fund.
What Actions Have Already Been Taken?
Child Health BC has been participating in the LPS to increase the focus on prevention policies and services specific for the child and youth population. This includes assessing a number of interventions for potential inclusion: routine offer of screening for chlamydia/gonorrhea, prevention of tobacco use, fluoride varnish, dental sealants and screening/ management of obesity.
Where Are We Now?
Child Health BC continues its commitment and participation in this standardized, evidence-based review process. Our involvement not only supports best practice for informing policy on clinical prevention services in BC, but also ensures that the Lifetime Prevention Schedule promotes the optimal health of children and youth with the best use of health care resources.