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Canada’s Fall Economic Statement Includes Little on Health
Health Canada announces supports for children and youth, while Chrystia Freeland’s Fall Economic Statement focuses on housing and the clean economy. On that, and more, here is your Syntax Weekly Health Round-Up.
On the Hill
- The House of Commons returned from the break week to Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s Fall Economic Statement (FES), which was read on Tuesday, November 21. Compared to other Fall Economic Statements, this one demonstrated a fair bit of restraint, with just over $13 billion in net-new spending announced. The focal point of this year’s Fall Economic Statement was increasing housing supply and building a strong, clean economy. For health, the FES delivered little by way of new measures, announcing only the removal of GST and HST from psychotherapy and counselling.
- With MPs back in the House, the Standing Committee on Health returned its focus to the draft report on its study of Children’s Health, for which more work is needed before it is tabled. Meanwhile, the Committee completed its study and agreed to table a report on Strengthening the Oversight of Breast Implants. Next, the Committee will meet to discuss Women’s Health (November 27 and 29, and December 6 and 13), and the Opioid Crisis (December 4 and 11).
- With November 20 marking National Child Day, much of Minister Holland and Minister Saks’s weeks were dedicated to initiatives for children. The two celebrated the rights of all children, reiterating the government’s commitment to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and recognizing UNICEF’s Go Blue campaign as a way to promote and commit to the rights of children and youth in Canada. Additionally, Minister Saks announced that Kids Help Phone has signed a service agreement with CAMH and will join the 9-8-8: Suicide Crisis Helpline network, providing specialized support to young people who reach out to 9-8-8. Minister Saks also announced $245,367 in funding to the WHO for a project aimed at the dissemination and testing of guidance and training, internationally and across Canada, to recognize and respond to child maltreatment.
- In recognition of World Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Awareness Week, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam issued a statement on preventing AMR. Tam highlighted the recently released Pan-Canadian Action Plan (PCAP) on Antimicrobial Resistance, which aligns with the One Health approach recognizing the interconnectedness of human, animal, and environmental health.
Around the Dominion
- In its capital budget outlining $1.3 billion in infrastructure investments over the next six years, the Government of Prince Edward Island announced $167M over five years for the ongoing design and construction of the Mental Health Campus project; $17.5M over five years to support current medical residents and prepare for residents from the UPEI Medical School by creating learning and staffing spaces at the province’s hospitals; $125.5M over five years to improve healthcare facilities across the province; and $57M over five years to build Patient Medical Homes.
- The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador announced it will launch a new virtual care solution this fall that will increase access to healthcare for rural areas and residents who do not have a primary care provider. The virtual care service will include primary care (for those who do not have a primary care provider), a virtual emergency room (with virtual physicial coverage 24/7), and urgent care.
- The Government of New Brunswick announced the opening of the Fredericton Urgent Treatment Centre, located in the city’s Brookside Mall. The Centre will be staffed by physicians, registered nurses, and licensed practical nurses, and is intended to alleviate pressure on local hospital emergency rooms. Staff will treat illnesses or injuries that require same-day attention, such as rashes and skin conditions, soft-tissue injuries, minor allergic reactions, skin infections, extremity injuries, lumps and bumps, abrasions, nosebleeds, minor wounds, and lacerations. The centre also provides medical imaging services, such as x-rays and ultrasounds.
- The Government of Saskatchewan has announced that Family Service Saskatchewan has been chosen to provide suicide postvention services, supporting the immediate psychological needs of people affected by the loss of someone who died by suicide or survived with significant injury or trauma.
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November 24 | 2023