WINNIPEG, December 9, 2022 – Building strong health care services now, and in the future, is a top priority for Canada’s Premiers. They met virtually today to discuss challenges faced by their respective health systems and the work underway in their jurisdictions to address these important issues.
Provinces and territories are responsible and accountable for the delivery of health care to their residents. Premiers are acutely aware of, and deeply concerned by, the substantial challenges facing their health care systems. Provinces and territories are taking significant action to innovate and improve health services based on unique needs and circumstances in their respective jurisdictions. This includes a wide range of priority areas, such as health human resources, wait times, long-term care, home care, mental health and substance use, pharmaceuticals, primary care, and digital and physical infrastructure.
As substantial investments are being made by provinces and territories, a true federal funding partnership through the Canada Health Transfer is needed to support, accelerate and broaden the implementation of their ongoing work in response to unprecedented challenges.
“High-quality health care will always be a fundamental priority for all Canadians who depend on those services across the country,” said Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson, Chair of the Council of the Federation. “As part of our responsibilities, provinces and territories are working hard to address serious needs in our health care systems. But a strong and predictable federal funding partnership is also urgently needed to support our continued work and ensure the sustainability of health services for Canadians.”
Prime Minister Trudeau has expressed willingness to support provinces and territories in implementing innovations and reforms through a significant increase of the Canada Health Transfer. Canadians want immediate and sustainable improvements to health services. Now is the time to agree on a new funding partnership for the future. To this end, Canada’s Premiers are inviting the Prime Minister to a meeting in early January in Ottawa.
Over two years have passed since Premiers provided a specific proposal for a renewed health care funding partnership through the Canada Health Transfer. Since then, Canada’s Premiers have made repeated efforts to engage the federal government, but no actual federal proposals have been received and no meaningful dialogue has occurred. By increasing the federal share from 22% to 35% – and by maintaining this level over time – the federal government can address the declining federal share of provincial and territorial health care costs and play a critical role in supporting real and lasting health care improvements for Canadians.
For more information on some of the various measures and actions provinces and territories are undertaking to improve health care for Canadians, visit: www.canadaspremiers.ca/health-care-improvements/.
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For more information:
Senior Manager of Communications
Office of the Premier, Government of Manitoba