OTTAWA, Feb. 17, 2017 /CNW/ - Canada's public healthcare system is a source of pride. The Government of Canada and the Government of British Columbia are committed to ensuring it is there to meet the needs of Canadians.
Today, the federal government and the Government of British Columbia agreed to new targeted federal funding over 10 years for investments in home care and mental health care. The province joins New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Saskatchewan and Prince Edward Island in accepting the Government of Canada's offer of investments to deliver better health care for Canadians and British Columbians in these priority areas.
Over the next 10 years, the federal government will provide British Columbia with an additional $1.4 billion:
- $785.7 million for better home care including addressing critical home care infrastructure requirements; and
- $654.7 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 British Columbia 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.
"These historic investments will help improve mental health and addictions programming, as well as seniors care, for British Columbians. Our Government is committed to partnering with BC, and all provinces and territories, to transform our healthcare system and ensure that Canadian families get the care they need, when and where they need it."
The Honourable Jane Philpott
Minister of Health
"We're pleased to have reached this funding agreement with the federal government, which will help us expand supports for some of our most vulnerable British Columbians - including home care for seniors and services for those struggling with mental health or substance use challenges. This targeted funding for home and community care in particular will be critically important as we continue to implement our strategy to shift our province's health-care system from an over-reliance on hospital care, to more robust and integrated services in the community that support people so they can stay longer in their homes."
The Honourable Terry Lake
British Columbia Minister of Health
SOURCE Health Canada
For further information: Contacts : Andrew MacKendrick, Office of Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, 613-957-0200, B.C. Ministry of Health Communications, Government of British Columbia, 250-952-1887; Media Relations: Health Canada, 613-957-2983; Public Inquiries: 613-957-2991, 1-866 225-0709