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Feds Move to Improve Access to Health Services in Both Official Languages

Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos announces fresh funding to increase options for francophone students to receive health training, and PEI Minister of Finance Jill Burridge delivers the provincial budget.

On that, and more, here is your Syntax Weekly Health Round-Up. 

At Committee

  • With the session quickly winding down, committees continue to be hard at work to wrap up certain studies before the House rises for the summer. One such study was at the Standing Committee on Finance which, prior to the break week, sent the Budget Implementation Act back to the House for consideration at third reading. The passing of the Budget Bill is essential to the federal government being able to deliver on its previously announced re-negotiated Canada Health Transfer. 
  • Upon the return of MPs from the break week, the Standing Committee on Health will get back to work considering a draft report on its study of children’s health. It’s anticipated that this report, which will include consideration from the Committee’s previous study into shortages of children’s medications, will be tabled in the House of Commons before the end of session.

Around Cabinet  

  • Fresh off a trip to Japan where he met with his G7 counterparts, Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos returned to Canada, where he announced funding of more than $15 million to support Université Laurentienne de Sudbury, Collège Boréal, Université de Hearst, and the Réseau du Mieux-être Francophone du Nord de l'Ontario to increase access to health services for francophones living in a minority setting in Northern Ontario and promote the active offer of health services in French. The funded projects will deliver on the objective by increasing access to health training programs in French; increasing recruitment and capacity for training additional bilingual health service providers; increasing internship opportunities; and increasing the integration of graduates into the healthcare system to better serve official language minority communities.

Around the Dominion

  • In Newfoundland, Premier Andrew Furey marked the end of the spring sitting of the Legislative Assembly by highlighting the recently tabled provincial budget, which made record investments of $3.9 billion in healthcare. This included over $23 million for the recruitment and retention of healthcare professionals; over $21 million for 10 new Family Care Teams; and $15 million for a new health information system.
  • In PEI, as the province continues to face closures of regional hospitals due to health human resources shortages, the provincial budget was tabled detailing over $3 billion in investments targeted at healthcare, housing, affordability, the environment, and the workforce. For health, the provincial budget included $21.9 million to establish the Faculty of Medicine at the UPEI Medical School; $10 million to introduce $5 copays for over 150 medications and add new drugs to the provincial formulary; $8.9 million to add 100 frontline positions and establish new medical homes; $3.2 million for mental health supports; and $3 million for Islanders to be treated for common ailments at pharmacies.
  • Following the WHO’s announcement that it no longer considers COVID-19 a global emergency, Nova Scotia announced it is changing its approach to managing the virus, specifically by treating it similarly to other respiratory illnesses like influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). The change means the COVID-related Health Protection Act Order is no longer necessary, and public health’s COVID-19 reporting will also change.
  • In Ontario, Lieutenant General the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell and Deputy Premier Sylvia Jones honoured 10 paramedics with the inaugural Ontario Medal for Paramedic Bravery. The medal is given to paramedics who have demonstrated great courage in risking their lives to save the lives of others. Recipients were recognized for their acts of outstanding bravery, including moving a crashed plane to save passengers inside, diving to the bottom of Lake Ontario to rescue a drowning man, saving a suicidal man from a highway ledge, swimming an unconscious cliff diver to safety, saving other first responders during a gas line explosion, and rescuing workers from a collapsed building.
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