Toronto (Canada), 7 February. The Canadian government on Tuesday offered billions of dollars over the next 10 years in financial transfers to the country’s provinces to plug gaps in the health system.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with provincial premiers and territory leaders in Ottawa on Tuesday and offered to contribute C$198.6 billion (about US$150 billion) over the next decade.
The proposal includes increasing transfers from the central government to the 10 provinces and 2 territories into which the country is divided by 46.2 billion won (US$34.472 billion).
The Government of Canada estimates that transfers will increase by 61% for the 2032–2033 fiscal year.
After meeting with regional leaders, Trudeau said it was necessary to reform the country’s health system, particularly with the hiring of more doctors and health workers, as well as the expansion of services related to mental illness and addiction.
Provincial premiers agreed, calling the federal government’s proposal “inadequate” and demanding more transfers to their health systems.
The Canadian Labor Congress (CLC), the organization that includes the country’s unions, expressed “cautious optimism” about Ottawa’s offer in a statement.
CLC president B Bruske said in a statement that severe staff shortages and insufficient funding have put the healthcare system at risk, with hospital emergencies without capacity and long waiting lists for surgery.
“Canadians are in dire need of adequate investment in the public health system to ensure that staff are supported and our loved ones are cared for in need,” Bruske said.