In a long-awaited agreement designed to remedy Canada’s deteriorating healthcare systems with $46.2 billion in new financing, the federal government has committed to increasing health funding to Canada’s provinces and territories by $196.1 billion over the next 10 years.
The federal government is stepping up to provide $198 billion in additional federal health funding over the next decade. This includes planned increases to the Canada Health Transfer, and new funding of $48 billion over the next 10 years.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) February 7, 2023
The federal government wants to enter bilateral agreements with each province and territory that take into account the particular conditions of each system as part of this new cross-Canada offer, which also includes increases to the amount budgeted to flow through the Canada Health Transfer (CHT).
It is expected that, in exchange for receiving additional federal funds, the provincial and territorial governments will commit to new transparency and accountability standards for the gathering, sharing, use, and reporting to Canadians of health information while also maintaining their current levels of health spending.
We’re making major investments to strengthen Canada’s universal, public health care system – so you can get the quality care you need, when you need it. Here’s how we’re doing that: https://t.co/OtPvptDbGp pic.twitter.com/7hwTJlBpvd
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) February 8, 2023
The first in-person gathering of all First Ministers since the COVID-19 epidemic took place on Tuesday afternoon, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spent two hours discussing this idea with his provincial and territorial counterparts. He was joined by a small group of ministers. The provinces’ demands haven’t been met, according to early indications.
Although Trudeau refers to the Liberals’ commitment as “a huge federal investment in health care,” early signs suggest that the plan hasn’t met the provinces’ requests.
These are the proposals put forth by the federal government:
- An immediate $2 billion national “unconditional” boost to the Canada Health Transfer (CHT) to address the pressing constraints being felt at children’s hospitals, ERs, and surgical centers.
- Five years of a five percent yearly top-up increase to the CHT, to be rolled into the CHT base after five years to assure a permanent rise, providing an estimated $17.3 billion over ten years.
- $25 billion over ten years for bilateral agreements lasting ten years with each province and territory, suited to their healthcare requirements but linked to shared priorities like family health access, funding for mental health and drug misuse programs, and updating the health information system.
- As levels of government cooperate to retain, attract, and acknowledge the qualifications of healthcare employees, $1.7 billion over five years will support hourly wage increases for personal support workers and allied professions.
- $150 million over five years for the Territorial Health Investment Fund to aid with the expense of healthcare delivery and medical travel in the North.
- $2 billion will be allocated over ten years to address the access issues that Indigenous people face specifically.
In a statement announcing the details, Trudeau’s office stated that “these additional federal investments will be contingent on continued health care investments by provinces and territories.”
Federal officials briefed the media on the plan’s technical details while the prime minister met with the premiers in private.