Delivering Quality Healthcare for All
February 27, 2023
Delivering Quality Health Care for All:
Recently, the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, and his provincial and territorial counterparts met to work together on improving Canada’s health care system. Prime Minister Trudeau and premiers discussed shared health priorities to deliver real results for Canadians as well as the importance to uphold the Canada Health Act to protect Canada’s publicly funded health care system.
At the working meeting with premiers, the federal government announced it will increase health funding to provinces and territories by $196.1 billion over 10 years, including $46.2 billion in new funding. This funding includes the following elements:
- An immediate, unconditional $2 billion Canada Health Transfer (CHT) top-up to address immediate pressures on the health care system, especially in pediatric hospitals and emergency rooms, and long wait times for surgeries. This builds on previous CHT top-ups that total $6.5 billion provided throughout the pandemic.
- A 5 per cent CHT guarantee for the next five years, which will be provided through annual top-up payments as required. This is projected to provide an additional $17.3 billion over 10 years in new support. The last top-up payment will be rolled into the CHT base at the end of the five years to ensure a permanent funding increase, providing certainty and sustainability to provinces and territories. With this guarantee, the CHT is projected to grow by 33 per cent over the next five years, and 61 per cent over the next 10 years.
- $25 billion over 10 years to advance shared health priorities through tailored bilateral agreements that will support the needs of people in each province and territory in four areas of shared priority:
- family health services;
- health workers and backlogs;
- mental health and substance use; and
- a modernized health system.
These additional federal investments will be contingent on continued health care investments by provinces and territories. This funding builds on the $7.8 billion over five years that has yet to flow to provinces and territories for mental health and substance use, home and community care, and long-term care.
- $1.7 billion over five years to support hourly wage increases for personal support workers and related professions, as federal, provincial, and territorial governments work together on how best to support recruitment and retention.
- $175 million over five years for the Territorial Health Investment Fund in recognition of medical travel and the cost of delivering health care in the territories.
In addition, the government will work with Indigenous partners to provide additional support for Indigenous health priorities:
- $2 billion over 10 years to address the unique challenges Indigenous Peoples face when it comes to fair and equitable access to quality and culturally safe health care services. The government will work with Indigenous partners to prioritize investments.
These investments, on top of already significant funding, will help build a health care system that includes:
- access to high-quality family health services when they need them, including in rural and remote areas, and for underserved communities;
- a resilient and supported health care workforce that provides high-quality, effective, and safe health care services;
- access to timely, equitable, and quality mental health, substance use, and addictions services to support Canadians’ well-being;
- access to a patient’s own electronic health information that is shared between the health professionals they consult; and
- access to home care and safe long-term care so Canadians can age safely and live in dignity.
While provinces and territories are already taking steps to advance work on these shared priorities, Canadians expect more concrete actions to improve health care services.
Agreement with Ontario:
The Government of Canada recognizes that provinces and territories have their own unique circumstances. As such, bilateral agreements are intended to be flexible, and provinces and territories will have options to tailor these agreements to address the unique needs of their populations and geography. As part of these agreements, provincial and territorial governments are asked to develop action plans that will outline how funds will be spent and how progress will be measured. Investments are to be centered around the following four shared health priorities: family health care; health workforce and backlogs; mental health and substance use; and modernizing the health care system with standardized information and digital tools. Each province and territory will have flexibility in designing their action plans, including the addition of targeted results with indicators that are tailored to their realities.
The Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario are taking a crucial next step in delivering better health care for Canadians by announcing an agreement in principle (AIP) for our shared plan that will invest $73.97 billion in federal funding over 10 years, including $8.41 billion for a new tailor made agreement focusing on four shared health priorities with key headline common indicators, a 5% Canada Health Transfer (CHT) guarantee for the next five years providing an additional $6.83 billion over 10 years, and $776 million through the immediate, one-time CHT top-up to address urgent needs, especially in pediatric hospitals and emergency rooms, and long wait times for surgeries. These investments will help provide better results in health care for patients and health workers in Ontario, including:
· Enhancing timely access to family health services – including in rural and remote areas;
· Improving mental health and substance use services;
· Modernizing our health system; and
· Supporting our health workers and reducing backlogs.
Work will now begin on a tailored bilateral agreement based on an initial 3-year action plan that will detail targets, timelines and additional common indicators related to our shared health priorities.