Feb 08, 2023

By Jane Brown

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While Canada’s premiers and territorial leaders, along with their health ministers, consider the new federal healthcare funding deal, healthcare stakeholders are weighing in.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau presented the offer in Ottawa Tuesday that would see $196-billion ($46.2-billion in new spending) move to the provinces and territories over the next 10 years in exchange for commitments to massively upgrade health-care data collection and digital medical records.

“Canadians know that we do best when different orders of government roll up our sleeves and work together to deliver the right results for Canadians,” Trudeau explained, “Canadians need access to family doctors, Canadians need better and quicker mental health services, particularly for young people or people struggling with addictions and substance abuse issues.”

In response, a statement from the Canadian Medical Association says in part, “the emphasis placed on primary care, health workers support and the modernization of healthcare in this offer is welcomed. The CMA is ready and willing to support the meaningful change needed to move forward.”

And a statement from SEIU Healthcare says “it welcomes the federal government’s commitment to invest in personal support workers and care workers who support our vulnerable loved ones. The funding marks a giant step forward toward achieving a $25 an hour national minimum wage for all PSWs across Canada.”

SEIU Healthcare represents 60,000 Ontario front line healthcare workers.

And from Bill VanGorder, chief policy and chief operating officer at CARP – A New Vision of Aging:

“The Federal proposal is a major step forward in the quest for improved healthcare. But, as always, the details are few and the results will not be clear until the provinces indicate how willing they are to share information and cooperate on implementation. We fear that, similar to the childcare funding, the agreements will end up being province by province with the federal government and will take months if not years to complete.

CARP will be advocating for action now and will urge Ontario to negotiate quickly for funding and other supports that will lead to necessary improvements to support better health care for older Ontario citizens.

CARP wants both sides to come to the table with flexibility. Seniors are tired of being the “ping pong ball” caught in the middle when the federal government and provinces argue over responsibilities and services.”

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