OTTAWA, ON and ALBERTA, March 10, 2017 /CNW/ - Canada's public healthcare system is a source of pride. The Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta are committed to ensuring it is there to meet the needs of Canadians.
Today, the federal government and the Government of Alberta agreed to new targeted federal funding over 10 years for investments in home care and mental health care. The province joins other provincial and territorial jurisdictions in accepting the Government of Canada's offer of investments to deliver better health care for Canadians and Albertans in these priority areas.
Over the next 10 years, the federal government will provide Alberta with an additional $1.3 billion:
- $703.2 million for better home care including addressing critical home care infrastructure requirements; and
- $586.0 million in support of mental health initiatives.
Under this funding agreement, the province will be getting its respective share of the investment in home care and mental health outlined by the federal government at the Finance and Health Ministers' Meeting in December. The province is the latest jurisdiction to pursue a new agreement for health care funding with the federal government, which will begin in the 2017-18 fiscal year.
In the coming weeks, governments will develop performance indicators and mechanisms for annual reporting to citizens, as well as a detailed plan on how these funds will be spent, over and above existing programs. The Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta will work out the details of accountability and reporting, consistent with the pan-Canadian approach envisaged in the federal funding offer of December 19, 2016.
As a result of these investments, it is expected that wait times for mental health services for children and youth will be improved and that the number of patients in hospital who could be supported and better cared for at home or in the community will be reduced.
The targeted investments in home care and mental health care are in addition to the existing legislated commitments through the Canada Health Transfer (CHT), which will continue to grow into the future. This new funding agreement is consistent with the federal investments offered to provincial and territorial governments in December. It would be amended to reflect legislated changes to the CHT in the event of a pan-Canadian agreement consistent with the previous federal offer.
"I am pleased that Alberta has agreed to join with the Government of Canada in a new Health Accord. By working together, we will continue to improve the quality and accessibility of mental health services and home care for Albertans."
The Honourable Jane Philpott
Minister of Health
"We want to thank the federal government for partnering with us to make lives better for Albertans by improving mental health services and expanding access to home care. This funding will help us continue taking action that makes a difference in the lives of mental health patients. It also means that more Albertans who need home care will be able to stay at home, in their communities, something that we know leads to better health outcomes and less pressure in our hospitals."
The Honourable Sarah Hoffman
Alberta Deputy Premier and Minister of Health
SOURCE Health Canada
For further information: Contacts: Andrew MacKendrick, Office of Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, 613-957-0200; Timothy Wilson, Alberta Health, 587-983-7127; Media Relations: Health Canada, 613-957-2983; Public Inquiries: 613-957-2991, 1-866 225-0709