Alberta signs 10-year, $24B health-care funding deal with feds


Alberta has become the seventh province to sign an agreement in principle with Ottawa on health-care funding. The federal government said in a news release Monday that more than $24 billion is to be invested in Alberta’s health-care system over the next 10 years.That includes $2.9 billion for a new bilateral agreement focused on shared health priorities and $233 million in an immediate, one-time top up to the Canada Health Transfer to address urgent needs, which include help for pediatric hospitals and emergency rooms, as well as addressing long wait times for surgeries.The deal also aims to improve access to family health services, including in rural and remote areas and in underserved communities. Other goals include fostering a resilient and supported health workforce, improving mental health care and addictions services and allowing access to Albertans’ own electronic health information. Story continues below advertisement Alberta joins the four Atlantic provinces, Ontario and Manitoba in signing on to the health-care deal.The agreements in principle are a first step to completing the $196-billion, 10-year health-care funding proposal that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made on Feb. 7. 1:42 Premiers agree to accept Ottawa’s health funding offer: ‘A step in the right direction’ Alberta Premier Danielle Smith said in a written statement that the agreement will support her government’s efforts to improve health care. Trending Now “We are leading the country in health-care reform and are focused on ensuring Albertans can access world-class care when and where they need it,” she said.“This is a productive first step and I look forward to continued discussions with the government of Canada on how we can achieve longer-term sustainable funding.” Story continues below advertisement Shannon Phillips, Opposition finance critic, held a news conference in Calgary on Monday morning to discuss her expectations from the Alberta government when it unveils the provincial budget on Tuesday.“There is no question that we’ve seen a lot of chaos and instability in health care due to UCP cuts,” she said in response to a question about the health-funding agreement.“Those cuts have come about as a result of giving away billions to already profitable corporations and are fundamentally a disrespect of public health care in a war with front-line workers.“Anything that can stabilize that funding, I think, is a positive thing.“But what we need to ask ourselves is: what happens next? Do we really trust Danielle Smith and the UCP to make sure that we are investing in public health care in a way that makes sure that we can see a doctor or other health professional within a couple of days? I believe the answer to that is no,” Phillips said. 1:33 Alberta accepts Ottawa’s health-care funding deal Smith, Alberta Health Minister Jason Copping and Alberta Health Services administrator John Cowell were scheduled to update media later Monday on their plan to improve the province’s health-care system. Story continues below advertisement — With a file from Global News 5:06 Advocating for more mental health care services &copy 2023 The Canadian Press

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