OTTAWA, July 31, 2015 /CNW/ - Today, Federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose announced the Government of Canada's ongoing, permanent funding commitment of $120.5 million per year for seven health programs that help reduce the health gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians.
These Government of Canada investments will support health promotion and disease prevention programs that target diabetes, early childhood interventions and suicide prevention. They will also provide funding for two programs – the Health Services Integration Fund and the Aboriginal Health Human Resources Initiative – which are geared towards enhancing communities' capacity to administer and deliver health services.
In addition, this investment will provide support to two Aboriginal Head Start programs: Aboriginal Head Start On Reserve (AHSOR), and Aboriginal Head Start in Urban and Northern Communities (AHSUNC) for off-reserve communities.
The seven programs to receive ongoing, permanent funding include:
- $46.8 million annually for the Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative (ADI), which helps reduce Type 2 diabetes through health promotion and disease prevention activities and services delivered by trained community workers and health service providers in more than 400 First Nations and Inuit communities.
- $29.5 million annually for the Maternal Child Health program (MCH), which supports pregnant women and families with infants and young children, and delivers prevention activities to improve children's oral health.
- $13.5 million annually for the National Aboriginal Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy, which encourages healthy lifestyle choices that promote self-esteem. The program funds up to 145 community-based projects annually.
- A total of $10 million annually in supplemental funding (for a total investment of $83.8 million annually) for two separate Aboriginal Head Start programs - early intervention programs that provide preschool education to enhance school readiness. These model programs promote strong parental involvement and unique culture and language components.
- $15.8 million annually for the Health Services Integration Fund, a program helps to integrate federal and provincial health services to improve access for First Nations and Inuit by funding First Nations and Inuit organizations, communities and other entities to deliver 'ready to implement' integrated service delivery arrangements.
- $4.9 million annually for the Aboriginal Health Human Resource Initiative, which aims to increase the number of First Nations and Inuit entering into health careers and support community based-workers, to enhance their skills and certifications.
"Our Government is committed to reducing the health gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians. This investment will help to create stable and predictable ongoing funding for health promotion, disease prevention and capacity building in First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities and supports Canada's vision of healthy individuals, families and communities."
Minister of Health
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SOURCE Health Canada
For further information: Michael Bolkenius, Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Federal Minister of Health, (613) 957-0200; Health Canada, Media Relations, (613) 957-2983; Public Inquiries: (613) 957-2991, 1-866 225-0709