VICTORIA, July 12, 2022 – Canada’s Premiers came together in Victoria for their first in-person meeting in over two years, to emphasize the urgent need for a new, sustainable health care funding partnership for Canadians. As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has intensified the pre-existing fractures in our health systems’ foundations, we are at a critical point for the sustainability of our health care services. Canadians cannot wait any longer.
Canadians should be able to receive the tests, procedures and health services they need when they need them. Premiers are committed to ensuring access to high-quality and timely health services, and reiterate their unanimous call for the federal government to increase its share of provincial-territorial health care costs from 22% to 35% through the Canada Health Transfer (CHT) and to maintain it at this level over time. Resolving this structural funding shortfall would allow provinces and territories to address their diverse needs and accelerate progress in delivering better access to care for Canadians. That’s why Premiers have asked repeatedly to meet with the Prime Minister to put health care on a sustainable path. They repeat their urgent call for a First Ministers’ Meeting to resolve this issue.
Short-term, one-time targeted funding cannot repair the foundations of our health care systems; but increased, predictable and recurrent federal funding can make a direct and tangible difference in the lives of Canadians. A strong majority of Canadians agrees that federal funding must be sustainable and flexible. This can only happen through the CHT.
The health care workforce is the bedrock of Canada’s health care systems. Premiers appreciate health workers’ ongoing, critical work. Provinces and territories are working to address immediate challenges facing our health care systems and to achieve longer-term improvements including in areas such as health human resources, long-term care, home care, mental health and substance use, pharmaceuticals, primary care, and digital and physical infrastructure.
Premiers remain united and are working to improve health care for Canadians. It is past time for the federal government to engage in a meaningful discussion on the CHT. Premiers call on the Prime Minister to recognize the urgency of the situation and to act now to support them in ensuring that our health systems can provide the services Canadians need, when they need them.
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