VANCOUVER — Just as Canada’s health ministers meet about their floundering health systems, the federal government says it’s ready to increase health-care transfers to provinces and territories.
However, federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos says the jurisdictions must commit to expanding the use of common key health indicators and to build a “world-class” health data system for the country.
Duclos made the statements just before the ministers held a news conference in Vancouver, setting out their proposals for an increase in Canada health transfers.
Host minister Adrian Dix says the provinces and territories had settled on a “united and common approach” to take to Duclos, that health transfers should be increased to 35 per cent, a level that should be maintained.
He says given what the territories and provinces have been through with COVID-19, there needs to be a national conference on the health transfer system to reach a funding agreement.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said earlier in Montreal that the government has committed to investing “significantly more” in health care, but it wants assurances people have access to a family doctor and to mental health services.
Dix says the situation demands particular urgency because “this is going to be a difficult winter,” referring to an expected spike in respiratory illnesses “including but not limited to COVID-19.”
The meetings in Vancouver are the first time all of Canada’s health ministers have gathered in person since 2018.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 7, 2022.
The Canadian Press