In the last couple of days, three territorial governments as well as one provincial government have signed separate, bilateral healthcare agreements with the federal government. The Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Yukon and Saskatchewan join New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador as provinces/territories who have signed separate deals in the past month.
The breakdowns for the new agreements are:
Northwest Territories will receive $7.4 million to support better home care and $6.1 million to fund new mental health initiatives.
Nunavut will receive $6.1 million to support better home care and $5.1 million to fund new mental health initiatives.
Yukon will receive $6.2 million to support better home care and $5.2 million to fund new mental health initiatives.
Saskatchewan will receive $190.3 million to support better home care and $158.5 million to fund new mental health initiatives.
Similar to the other agreements, if other provinces are able to negotiate a better agreement, these territories will also be able to secure equal funding.
Yukon Premier Sandy Silver commented on the news saying that the new deal will “ensure Yukon residents can access the healthcare they need.” Northwest Territories Premier Bob McLeod added that the new agreement “will help provide better care to some of our most vulnerable residents.”
With annual increases in federal health transfers due to drop in April, there is still time for the other provinces come to a new agreement, but the clock is ticking.
“The key thing to remember about this process is that healthcare needs differ depending on each province and territory.” said Jackie Mantorne, President & CEO of the Canadian Cancer Survivor Network. “The parties who have signed agreements with the federal government needed to ensure that they had funding in place, which they have done. It will be interesting to see the details of the new health transfers if/when the other provinces come to an agreement.”
Health and Finance ministers from the remaining provinces who have not signed new agreements (British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Prince Edward Island) continue to work with the federal government on a new agreement. It is reported that Prince Edward Island is close on securing a new healthcare agreement.