Health care funding should be determined by need, not market fluctuations
December 8th, 2016, Ottawa – The Canadian Health Coalition is pleased to see the Prime Minister and premiers will be meeting this Friday, December 9th to discuss health care. However, in order to ensure health care is able to meet the needs of a growing and aging Canadian population, the Prime Minister must be willing to put more money on the table and the premiers must be willing to accept it with strings attached to health care spending.
“So far the negotiations have missed the mark when it comes to addressing the needs of Canadians,” says Adrienne Silnicki, national coordinator, Canadian Health Coalition. “While the negotiations have been centred on 3% or 6%, no one has been talking about how to ensure the funding can continue to deliver the services Canadians need. Tying the health transfer to GDP means that when the economy tanks and health care needs increase, there will be fewer dollars available. People without jobs and health benefits rely more heavily on the public system to meet their medical needs. We need funding that reflects the needs of Canadians, not the fluctuations of markets.”
Currently, provinces like Ontario need to spend 5.2% to keep delivering services to the population we have today, according to Ontario’s Financial Accountability Office (Spring 2016). “With an aging and growing population, we will need to increase our spending to be able to continue delivering public health care services,” says Silnicki. “Canadians are strongly in favour of expanding our public system. Polls have shown that over three-quarters of Canadians want a National Public Drug Plan. While it will save us money in the long run, we need immediate start-up funds and an engaged federal government.”
The Canadian Health Coalition is calling on the Federal government to continue funding health care at 6%, attach the Canada Health Transfer (CHT) to provincial health care spending, and expand public health care with new programs like a National Public Drug Plan and a seniors care plan.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
National Coordinator, Canadian Health Coalition