#Ontario; #$3BHealthCareDeal; #HistoricDeal
Toronto: Ontario Premier Doug Ford has signed a $3.1-billion health-care deal with the federal government to increase access to primary care and reduce wait times.
The $3.1 billion promised Friday covers the first three years of this agreement, ministry officials confirmed.
Calling the deal “historic,” Ford added,
“This new funding will bolster the significant work we are doing in Ontario… we know there is more work to do. That’s why today’s agreement is so important to strengthening our health-care system,” Ford reportedly said,
Announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau later last week, the agreement makes Ontario the fifth Canadian province to come to an agreement with Ottawa for its share of a $200-billion health accord.
The other provinces who have made this agreement include British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, Alberta and Nova Scotia.
The announcement follows almost a year after the two governments reached a 10-year deal in principle to pay for health care in Ontario, with an additional $46 billion in funding to the Canada Health Transfer.
The federal government has been urged by Premiers to increase their annual health transfers up from 22 percent amounting to about $28 billion a year, with an additional five percent annually after that, to cover 35 percent of their health budgets.
“For generations, universally accessible health care has been a core part of what it means to be Canadian,” Trudeau reported telling reporters. “It’s built on a promise that, no matter where you live or what you earn, you will always be able to get the medical care you need.”
Under the agreement, Ontario has pledged to add hundreds of new family physicians and nurse practitioners, as well as thousands of nurses and personal support workers to fill staffing shortages.
The funding will also be used to remove barriers for internationally trained doctors, add five new Youth Wellness Hubs, and address gaps in Indigenous health-care services.