Health Coalition Chairperson to seek accountability for health dollars at premiers’ meeting
Canada’s premiers and territorial leaders will be gathering in Victoria, British Columbia, on July 11 and 12, and at the top of their agenda is increased health care funding from the federal government.
The premiers and Indigenous observers will be welcomed by B.C. Premier John Horgan, who is Chair of the Council of the Federation, but it remains unclear if Prime Minister Justin Trudeau or Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos will attend. Duclos’ office says he didn’t receive an invitation, according to The Globe and Mail.
The Canadian Health Coalition will be represented by its chairperson, Pauline Worsfold, RN. She will be speaking with officials and journalists on behalf of the coalition of frontline health care workers’ unions, community groups, and experts.
The Canadian Health Coalition is in favour of increased federal funding to provinces, but not without strings attached to ensure the funding is used for health care in an accountable manner and supports our public health care system.
“The Canadian Health Coalition has urged the federal government to increase its share of health care spending with provinces and territories through programs for pharmacare and long-term care that will provide measurable improvements and accountability in public health care for people in Canada,” Worsfold wrote in the Hill Times newspaper in March.
Public health care supporters are concerned that provinces are not being held accountable for federal funding made through the Canada Health Transfer, which is regulated under the Canada Health Act. The federal government’s “Canada Health Act Annual Report 2020-2021” faulted five of the ten provinces for violations of the Act within the last five years.
Effective use of health care spending is also an area of concern for the federal government. Budget 2022 stated the federal government wants to ensure that any additional federal funding will improve Canada’s health care system. It pointed out that Canada spends more of its gross domestic product (GDP) on health care than the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) average, but only the United States ranks worse than Canada in health care system performance according to the U.S.-based Commonwealth Fund.
Update: Read the provincial-territorial health coalitions’ statement on increasing health transfers in ways that respect the Canada Health Act released on July 11, 2022.