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Federal government prepared to increase health transfers: Duclos

Provinces and territories settled on a ‘united and common approach’ as they meet to talk health
Minister of Health Jean-Yves Duclos speaks during a news conference on patient-oriented research at the Ottawa Hospital, in Ottawa, Monday, Oct. 24, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

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 build 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.

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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