Canada’s Premiers reaffirm health care sustainability as their top priority and press for a meeting of First Ministers at the earliest opportunity
OTTAWA, September 23, 2021 – Canada’s Premiers* extend their congratulations to the recently re-elected Prime Minister and call on him to engage soon in a constructive dialogue with Premiers on Canadians’ number one priority: health care.
Premiers met on September 23, 2021 by teleconference to discuss the urgent need for a genuine partnership so that provinces and territories can address crucial health priorities. Premiers also discussed the pandemic and the need to restore economic growth so that Canadians can get back to work, and businesses can thrive again.
Premiers urge the Prime Minister to hold a First Ministers’ Meeting on long-term, unconditional health funding prior to the federal Speech from the Throne and certainly by the end of the calendar year to achieve a resolution to the long-standing funding shortfall facing our health care systems due to the lack of a true federal funding partner.
“Provincial and territorial health care systems are facing serious challenges and there is an urgent need to act. To address these challenges effectively, the newly re-elected federal government needs to work with Premiers to put in place an immediate and ongoing increase in health care funding through the Canada Health Transfer. Canadians expect us to work together, and Premiers stand ready to begin this work – but we need a federal partner,” said British Columbia Premier John Horgan, Chair, Council of the Federation.
Premiers reiterate their call on the federal government to immediately increase its share of health care costs from 22% to 35% of total health care spending and to maintain this contribution level over time with a minimum annual escalator of 5%.
The Council of the Federation comprises all 13 provincial and territorial Premiers. It enables Premiers to work collaboratively, form closer ties, foster constructive relationships among governments, and show leadership on important issues that matter to Canadians.
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*Nunavut is operating in a caretaker period due to a territorial election and is unable to participate.