Tuesday’s meeting between the premier of British Columbia, David Eby, and two federal ministers was an attempt to negotiate bilateral agreements on the province’s healthcare challenges.
Jean-Yves Duclos, the federal minister of health, anticipates that Ottawa and British Columbia will soon create a flexible bilateral action plan. Over the next ten years, the province anticipates receiving an average of $600 million in health funds from the federal government.
David Eby released a statement following the financial agreement on Monday. “This financing provides long-term stability and certainty to British Columbians that we can work together to strengthen our public health care system.”
After years of decreases to provincial health care budgets, he thinks Ottawa’s increased spending for health care is a positive move.
“Working together, we can strengthen health care so people can get the care they need when they need it.” – David Eby, Premier of British Columbia.
Reducing the strain on the healthcare system
According to David Eby, the federal government and British Columbia are currently having bilateral conversations about how the province will distribute funding. Home care, mental health, and addiction services are also discussed as ways to relieve the strain on hospitals.
Ottawa’s financial strategy includes new investment in four important sectors as well as an increase to the Canada Health Transfer (CHT):
- Family health services
- Healthcare workers
- Mental health and addictions
- Modernization of the healthcare system
The plan calls for a 5% increase in the TCS over the following five years, followed by a return to a 3% yearly increase.
In exchange, Ottawa requested that the territories and provinces make a commitment to enhancing the gathering and sharing of health data in order to encourage results transparency and ease the handling of public health emergencies.
David Eby is optimistic that British Columbia would cooperate with the federal government to enhance healthcare worker national accreditation and immigration routes.
Rob Flemming, the federal government’s minister of transportation and infrastructure, met with Mr. Eby, the other two ministers, and Mr. Eby to discuss how the federal government could help British Columbia with infrastructure initiatives. The Massey Tunnel, the Iona Water Treatment Plant, and the Belleville Terminal are examples of future infrastructure.
Each province and territory will meet with Ottawa to sign specific, individualized agreements.
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