Premiers discuss pressures on our health care systems and urge the federal government to join them in building a sustainable health care funding partnership

Premiers discuss pressures on our health care systems and urge the federal government to join them in building a sustainable health care funding partnership

OTTAWA, February 4, 2022 – Canada’s Premiers met today by videoconference to discuss the urgent need to resolve the structural funding shortfall facing our health care systems, and create a new, sustainable health care funding partnership for all Canadians.

“Now is the time for a new long-term funding partnership for health care in Canada. First Ministers must meet and have a meaningful discussion in order to find a sustainable solution to this situation as soon as possible,” said British Columbia Premier John Horgan, Chair of the Council of the Federation.

“Provinces and territories are at the front lines of health care, and Premiers understand the challenges facing our systems, including shortages of health care professionals, surgical backlogs, wait times and hospitals that are at capacity. Canadians need to have the confidence that their health care systems can provide the services they need. A new vision for health care, supported by a significant, long-term increase in federal funding, is needed to ensure we emerge stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic and ready to respond to the needs of our citizens.”

All Premiers remain united in their call for the federal government to increase its share of provincial-territorial health care costs through the Canada Health Transfer to 35%. Recent polling indicates that 85% of Canadians support this request. This funding increase will help to support investments in priority areas of health care for all Canadians, like long-term care, mental health and addictions care, and access to primary care. Canadians have told us that health care is one of the most important issues facing Canada today. And 78% of Canadians agree that in order to see long-term improvements in health care the federal government’s funding must be sustainable and maintained over time.

The pandemic’s impact has made it even more pressing to focus on health system improvements and sustainability, and provinces and territories are making significant health care investments. Premiers invite the Prime Minister to work with them and begin negotiations without further delay so that a First Ministers’ Agreement on Sustainable Health Care Funding can be finalized in the coming weeks.

Over the past two years, Canada’s First Ministers have demonstrated that, by working together, they can deliver results for Canadians. Premiers look forward to applying this same approach to ensure that Canada’s health care systems remain sustainable for generations to come.

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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Media enquiries may be directed to:

Lindsay Byers
Press Secretary and Deputy Communications Director
Office of the Premier, Government of British Columbia
778 678-5539
[email protected]