The federal government will propose a ten-year plan to fund and reform the health care system when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets with provincial ministers in Ottawa on Tuesday, according to sources.
The federal proposal provides for the receipt of new money already in the next budget. It will include an addition to the planned across-the-board increase in the Canadian Health Transfer (CHT) and significant funding for bilateral agreements with provinces and territories to address their specific problems.
Sources report that the proposed increase in CHT and bilateral agreements in the field of healthcare will last for 10 years.
Healthcare funding has always been a contentious issue between the provinces and the federal government. The effects of the pandemic on an already strained system have made the need for a new funding agreement even more urgent.
Trudeau said his government will work with the provinces in the “coming weeks” on the details of a new funding agreement, and expressed confidence that Canada can afford to increase health funding.
Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said he had not seen a proposal from the federal government before the meeting.
“We don’t know what will be offered to us yet, so we will wait until tomorrow and see what the federal government, the prime minister, will offer to the provinces,” Mo told reporters on Monday.
One of the main stumbling blocks in the negotiations was the basic level of healthcare financing in Canada. The provinces asked the federal government to increase the share from 22% to 35%.
The federal government has said it will offer more money, but rejects the claim that it covers only 22 percent of health care costs.
The second major stumbling block was the question of the conditions for increasing funding. The Federal Government has stated that it wants additional funding to be directed to specific areas.