Ontario reaches health-care deal with federal government
Ontario and the federal government reached an agreement About health care in principle, the state said Thursday.
Health Secretary Sylvia Jones said on Wednesday the state accepted the 10-year deal after both sides agreed to add a review to the deal to ensure its long-term sustainability.
“As Ontario continues to invest in its publicly funded system at record levels, this additional funding will support Ontario’s investment in health care as we implement our plans for connected and convenient care. We will strengthen it,” Jones said in a statement.
“We look forward to working with our federal counterparts to reach common ground in securing sustainable federal health care funding for generations to come. It deserves nothing more.”
Canada’s prime minister earlier this month agreed to accept an offer of more than $46 billion from Ottawa to expand Canada’s health care transfers.
The federal government has separate bilateral agreements with states and territories to meet the unique needs of each jurisdiction.
The City of Ottawa said the 10-year deal with Ontario includes $8.4 billion in new funding and 1 funding to address “urgent needs, particularly in children’s hospitals and emergency rooms, and long wait times for surgeries.” It said it included $776 million in one-time additional funding.
“Today’s agreement in principle with Ontario is an opportunity to continue our collaboration and improve the experience for health care workers and those they care for,” Federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said in a statement. I’m here.
“It will modernize our healthcare system, improve access to family health and mental health services, reduce surgical backlogs and support healthcare workers. It means enabling people to live longer, healthier lives.”
In principle, the agreement will allow further discussion on how the new funds will be used.
Priority areas outlined in the agreement include mental health, primary care and increasing the number of health workers.
The country’s prime minister said further discussions with Ottawa were needed to establish long-term predictability and stability in healthcare.
Last week, Ontario Premier Doug Ford suggested incorporating reviews into the deal.
The federal government quickly agreed to a formal review process to consider a bilateral financing deal to upgrade the mental health and home care programs the state made with Ottawa in 2017. Both sides also agreed to a similar process for considering new deals.
In a letter to Ontario’s health minister last week, Duclos said the province’s bilateral agreements include efforts to target specific health indicators and provide “fair access” for underserved groups. It said it included agreeing to donate and upholding the Canadian Health Act to strengthen public health systems.
This report by the Canadian Press was first published on February 23, 2023.