OTTAWA, Aug. 17, 2015 /CNW/ - Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard's renewed call for calculation of Canada Health Transfer (CHT) payments to the provinces and territories to take into account aging populations is a very welcome intervention in the federal election campaign.
Premier Couillard has done much to rally his fellow premiers to demand a new deal in the CHT so that Canadians will be able to benefit from universal health care in the years to come. Now he has issued an urgent challenge to the federal party leaders.
On July 21, the parliamentary budget officer warned the way Ottawa will be calculating the CHT in future years will make it impossible for provinces and territories to handle the burden of health care costs because of aging populations. He couldn't have been more explicit. All of Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia are already feeling the strain of an aging patient load.
The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) will do everything it can to make this challenge an election issue and we urge the federal party leaders to do the same. Unless policymakers and public office holders in all levels of government start thinking differently about calculation of the CHT, it won't be possible in the coming years to provide the quality health care Canadians deserve. This is why the premiers at last month's Council of the Federation meeting in St. John's made CHT payments on the basis of aging population their top priority.
The CMA believes the CHT can be topped up on the basis of population aging to the benefit of all provinces and territories and at minimum pain to the federal government after doing detailed calculations of our own. We are actively promoting a demographic funding formula that would be a top-up to the CHT.
Health care is not a federal responsibility. Nor is it a provincial/territorial responsibility. It is every government's responsibility.
SOURCE Canadian Medical Association
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