Premier wants increased share of federal funding, maintained over time, for health care

PREMIER John Horgan on Wednesday called for an increased share of federal funding, maintained over time, for health care so that the province can plan for the future.

In a statement, Horgan said: “It’s clear that Canadians across the country are deeply concerned about health care. The latest poll from the Angus Reid Institute confirms that access to quality health care is top of mind for Canadians, and they expect action.

“I hear it as the Premier of British Columbia and as the chair of the Council of the Federation: We can and must do better on health care.

“Working with the other premiers, I have made it clear to the federal government that they must come to the table to address the lack of federal funding in health care across the country to protect and improve the services people rely on.

“Canada’s public health-care system began as a 50/50 partnership, but the federal government’s contribution has shrunk to just 22%. This is not sustainable for our health-care system and we cannot afford to wait. Today, I renew my call to the federal government to provide their fair share and cover 35% of the costs.

“The problems Canadians experienced in accessing health-care services coming out of the pandemic have highlighted strains in our health systems that will continue unless the federal government increases its investment.

“No one is in a better position than provinces and territories to understand their populations’ health-care needs, but we simply cannot do it alone. An increased share from the federal government, maintained over time, will mean that we can plan for the future. We can hire more health-care workers, provide more surgeries and treatments, and further reduce wait times.

“In British Columbia, hospitals are being built, modernized and expanded. Thousands of health-care workers have been hired over the last two years, 6,000 of them to care for seniors in long-term care homes or assisted living.

“We have made historic investments through team-based care in primary care networks, community health centres, Indigenous-led clinics, and urgent and primary care centres to expand access to public health care in this province. We still have a long way to go, and the federal government is needed at the table.

“I stand with premiers and with all Canadians across the country calling on the federal government to protect our health-care system and make it work better for people.”