Insights | Blog
Ontario and Atlantic Canada sign agreements in principle to move close
Negotiations between the federal government and the provinces and territories continue at a frantic pace as several agreements in principle have been announced to date, including with Ontario and all four of the Atlantic provinces. The agreements in principle are light on detail in this first step in the process of completing negotiations on the 10-year, $196-billion federal funding proposal. Provinces and territories will still have to table detailed action plans with the federal government in order to receive the funding boost. These action plans will also be expected to detail how provinces and territories will prove to Canadians that they are improving the health care system.
On that, and more, here’s your weekly roundup.
- The next meeting of the Standing Committee on Health is anticipated for Tuesday, March 7.
- Minister of Health Jean-Yves Duclos continues his cross-country tour meeting with premiers and health ministers to advance negotiations and sign agreements in principle with provinces and territories on the federal government’s proposal to significantly boost health transfers over the next 10 years.
IN THE HOUSE
- The House of Commons is on a scheduled two-week break. The House will resume sitting on Monday, March 6. Prior to the two-week break, the health minister tabled the 2020-21 Canada Health Act Annual Report in the House of Commons. The report reiterates the commitment of the federal government to the Act and the fact that if a province or territory permits extra billing or user charges for medically necessary health services, a mandatory dollar-for-dollar deduction must be taken from the jurisdiction’s Canada Health Transfer (CHT). The report includes CHT deductions taken in March 2022 for patient charges that occurred during the 2019-2020 fiscal year and reimbursements issued to provinces and territories based on their reimbursement plans.
AROUND THE DOMINION
- The federal government has been active in announcing agreements in principle with provinces (and soon, territories) as it advances negotiations to fully implement the federal proposal to significantly boost health transfers. Each of the agreements in principle detail total funding; the allocation for an immediate, one-time CHT top-up to address urgent needs such as pediatric hospitals, emergency rooms, and long wait times for surgeries; and the allocation for bilateral agreements to advance access to high-quality family health services, a more resilient health workforce, mental health and addiction services, and access to electronic health data. We anticipate the detailed action plans from provinces and territories to be submitted to the federal government within the coming weeks The agreements announced this week note that: In Ontario, the total federal investment is $73.97 billion over 10 years, with $776 million to immediately top up the CHT and $8.413 billion for its bilateral agreement on shared priorities.
- In PEI, the total federal investment is $996 million over 10 years, with $9 million to immediately top up the CHT and $288 million for its bilateral agreement on shared priorities.
- In Newfoundland, the total federal investment is $2.18 billion over 10 years, with $27 million for an immediate CHT top-up and $749 million for its bilateral agreement on shared priorities.
- In Nova Scotia, the total federal investment is $4.81 billion over 10 years, with $52 million to immediately top up the CHT and $1.01 billion for its bilateral agreement on shared priorities.
- In New Brunswick, the total federal investment is $3.64 billion over 10 years, with $42 million to immediately top up the CHT and $900 million for its bilateral agreement on shared priorities. B.C. is bringing into force changes to the Mental Health Act that will expand authority for assessment in hospital emergency rooms from physicians to nurse practitioners. The intended result is that more health professionals will be able to respond to people presenting mental health crises, effectively reducing wait times and speeding up access to care for those with mental health issues.
- The Manitoba government is investing over $123 million in nine initiatives to retain, recruit, and support nurses. This builds on its commitment to end mandated overtime and add 2,000 health care professionals through the Health Human Resources Action Plan.
February 24 | 2023