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Ottawa signs $3.7 billion health agreement with Quebec

Photo: Patrick Doyle The Canadian Press Federal Health Minister Mark Holland will bring together provincial health ministers in the coming weeks to discuss next steps.

The Canadian Press in Ottawa

10:04 p.m.

  • Canada

Federal Health Minister Mark Holland signed a $3.7 billion health deal with Quebec on Wednesday, meaning all 13 provinces and territories have now signed on to Ottawa's new health accord.

Quebec was the only province not to have signed the agreement in principle due to concerns over the sovereignty of its health data and the fact that Ottawa is overstepping its jurisdiction.

Information had circulated on an agreement in principle of approximately 900 million per year between Ottawa and Quebec, shortly after a meeting in Montreal between Prime Ministers Justin Trudeau and François Legault, on March 15.

The agreement that Ottawa finally concluded with Quebec includes $2.5 billion over three years to improve health care, as well as $1.2 billion over five years to improve access to home care or to a safe long-term care facility for aging Quebecers.

On Wednesday, the Legault government spoke of the conclusion of two “asymmetrical agreements allowing Quebec […] to support its priorities in health and social services”.

However, Mr. Holland said that Quebec, like other provinces, will still have to show precisely how federal dollars are spent on a common list of health priorities and provide financial reporting. annual stages accessible to the public. “This section contains enormous flexibility, and the Quebec plan demonstrates it,” Mr. Holland said in an interview on Wednesday.

The Minister of Health, Christian Dubé, stated in a press release that this involves “total funding of $3.7 billion which will be transferred to Quebec by March 31, 2028 in respect of its jurisdiction exclusive in matters of health”.

“Asymmetrical processing”

“With these agreements, Quebec continues to benefit from asymmetrical treatment guaranteeing it full control of the administration of its health system,” maintained Mr. Dubé, speaking of obtaining “its share of the available funds […] without conditions”. “The needs are urgent in the health network and it was important that Quebec be able to take advantage of the available funds,” he added.

The minister stressed that Quebec intends to continue to demand an increase in health transfers.

According to Mr. Dubé, the proportion of federal funding currently stands at approximately 21.9% of health spending across Canada for the 2024-2025 fiscal year. This proportion should only represent 20.7% in 2032-2033, despite new federal funds, he argued.

Mr. Dubé says Quebec will continue to share data already compiled in its public dashboard with the Canadian Institute for Health Information.

Over a year ago, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau first presented to the provinces a new health funding agreement aimed at increasing federal health transfers and providing targeted assistance.

The offer came as premiers and health-care workers sounded the alarm about the failing state of Canada's health-care systems. In exchange for these funds, Ottawa requires provinces to report on how the money will be spent and measure whether these funds improve health outcomes for Canadians.

Now that Ottawa has signed agreements with every province and territory, Holland says he will bring together his fellow health ministers in the coming weeks to discuss next steps.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116