Health talks end without deal as feds pull out
The federal government has pulled out of a joint statement with provincial and territorial health ministers, ending much-anticipated meetings in Vancouver without any agreement to increase health care funding.
British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix, who called the end of the meetings « disappointing », had previously said provincial and territorial ministers were united behind a request to increase federal funding to 35%, against 22%.
However, Dix says the federal government pulled out of both a joint statement and a subsequent press conference, because it was unhappy with a statement Canada’s prime ministers released today. .
The statement reiterates the premiers’ request to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to meet with them at a national conference on the federal health transfer.
Federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said on Monday that the government was ready to boost the transfer, on various conditions, including a commitment to a common set of health benchmarks and data sharing, a position taken over by Trudeau.
But Dix says provincial and territorial ministers « couldn’t move forward » based on what he called « sound bites from the Prime Minister ».
“They made the decision not to participate,” Dix said of the feds.
« Even before the meeting was over…the premiers issued a statement calling the meeting a failure. It’s not exactly what we would call a meaningful engagement, » Duclos continued.
He blames prime ministers, not his counterparts. Says calls for CHT increase « not a plan ».
— Rachel Aiello (@rachaiello) November 8, 2022
The two plans that Duclos said health ministers have been working on since February were:
– Pan-Canadian Action Plan to Address Health Workforce Challenges and Support Health Workers
– Pan-Canadian health data strategy to improve the quality and safety of care for Canadians
— Rachel Aiello (@rachaiello) November 9, 2022
This report from The Canadian Press was first published on November 8, 2022.