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Feds Promise Youth Mental Health Fund

The federal government continues its pre-budget press tour with a promise to establish a youth mental health fund. On that, and more, here is your Syntax Weekly Health Round-Up.

On the Hill

  • The Standing Committee on Health continued its ongoing study of Women’s Health. Written submissions of no more than 2,000 words continue to be accepted by the committee for the study.

Around Government 

  • As part of the government’s continued pre-budget press tour, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland and Mental Health Minister Ya’ara Saks announced that Budget 2024 will establish a $500-million fund to support the mental health of young Canadians. While we’ll have to wait for the budget to learn additional details of the fund, we know it will help equip community health organizations to provide more care for younger Canadians and to refer youth to other mental health services within their networks and partnerships.

Around the Dominion

  • In P.E.I., Premier Dennis King and Health Minister Mark McLane announced a $25-million agreement with private long-term care operators to increase capacity by 54 beds across the province and increase wages for private sector workers in the coming months. The agreement is a first step in implementing the provinces Long-Term Care Review which focuses on ensuring safety and quality care for residents and workers in long-term care homes. Also in P.E.I., Health Minister Mark McLane boasted in the provincial legislature that the province has successfully recruited 23 doctors so far this year. To put that into context, P.E.I. hired 24 doctors in all of 2023. The Minister added that most of the doctors are already working, with many operating in the province’s new “medical homes” which were opened to replace single-doctor clinics of the past.
  • In Ontario, the government made significant announcements to connect residents to healthcare providers. In the north, the province is investing more than $5 million to connect over 16,000 people to primary care teams across Thunder Bay, Kenora, Fort Frances, and Sioux Lookout. In Etobicoke, the province announced that the new Gilgan Family Queensway Health Centre will continue moving forward after a $1.3-billion contract was awarded  for construction of the health facility that is scheduled to be complete in 2029.
  • In Manitoba, Premier Wab Kinew unveiled details of his province’s plan to hire 100 new doctors this year. The province will invest $309.5 million toward staff recruitment, retention, and training including increasing funding for physician recruitment and medical residency spots by 38 per cent to meet its objective. The province intends to hire 1,000 new healthcare workers this year.
  • In Saskatchewan, the government provided an update on its investments to alleviate health human resources pressures, noting that 256 potentially eligible applications have been received for provincial incentives in anesthesia, psychiatry, and breast and interventional radiology. So far, 118 of these have been approved for payment.
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