Canada

Ottawa says it’s ready to boost health-care transfers to provinces and territories | CBC News

Just as Canada’s health ministers meet about their floundering health systems, the federal government says it’s ready to increase health-care transfers to provinces and territories.

However, federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos says the jurisdictions must commit to expanding the use of common key health indicators and to building a “world-class” health data system for the country.

Duclos made the statements just before the ministers held a news conference in Vancouver, setting out their proposals for an increase in Canada health transfers.

Host minister Adrian Dix says the provinces and territories had settled on a “united and common approach” to take to Duclos, that health transfers should be increased to 35 per cent, a level that should be maintained.

WATCH |  Jean-Yves Duclos announces plans to boost funding for provincial and territorial health care:

Health minister confirms increase in health care investments for provinces and territories

After meeting with provincial leaders, Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos says the federal government will invest in tailor-made funding for each province and territory to help alleviate the health-care crisis.

He says given what the territories and provinces have been through with COVID-19, there needs to be a national conference on the health transfer system to reach a funding agreement.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said earlier in Montreal that the government has committed to investing “significantly more” in health care, but it wants assurances people have access to a family doctor and to mental health services.

Dix says the situation demands particular urgency because “this is going to be a difficult winter,” referring to an expected spike in respiratory illnesses “including but not limited to COVID-19.”

The meetings in Vancouver are the first time all of Canada’s health ministers have gathered in person since 2018.

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