The federal government is proposing increasing healthcare funding by a whopping $196.1 billion over the next 10 years in response to the “enormous strain” Canada’s public healthcare system has been under.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau presented the offer to premiers on Tuesday at a meeting in Ottawa.
That $196.1 billion figure includes $46.2 billion in new healthcare spending. These funds go beyond what was already budgeted for the coming years.
“Today’s announcement is about strengthening our health care system to address existing challenges and provide Canadians with the safe, high-quality care they need and deserve, including when it comes to mental health,” said Trudeau in a statement.
“Building on the lessons of the pandemic, we will continue to take a Team Canada approach to deliver the best results for patients, support our health care workers, and protect our health care system now and into the future.”
I’ll be meeting with all the premiers tomorrow, and there’s only one item on the agenda: Health care. More on that here: pic.twitter.com/XFtfc1XPF0
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) February 7, 2023
Here’s what the federal government has pledged:
An unconditional $2 billion Canada Health Transfer (CHT) top-up
Each province and territory will receive this top-up to address immediate pressures on the healthcare system, especially in pediatric hospitals and emergency rooms, and long wait times for surgeries.
5% annual hike to the CHT for the next five years
This is expected to provide an additional $17.3 billion in new healthcare funding to provinces and territories over 10 years.
$25 billion over 10 years to shared healthcare needs in each province
In areas like family health services, health workers and backlogs, mental health and substance use, and a modernized health system.
$1.7 billion over five years to support hourly wage increases
For personal support workers and related professions.
$150 million over five years for the Territorial Health Investment Fund
This aims to fund medical travel and the cost of delivering healthcare in the territories.
In order for provinces to access their share of funding, the federal government has one condition. Provinces will need to commit to “improving how health information is collected, shared, used, and reported to Canadians to promote greater transparency.”
“Canadians should be able to access their own health information and benefit from it being shared between health workers, across health settings, and across jurisdictions,” reads a statement.
This new federal funding will also be dependent on continued healthcare investments from provinces and territories.