Manitoba signs health funding agreement but not health accord: minister

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Manitoba and the federal government have a deal on health funding, but the province maintains it hasn’t signed the federal health accord.

The deal will see an extra $10.9 million flow into the province from Ottawa for home care, mental health and addictions.

Federal Health Minister Jane Philpott called the agreement of targeted money a “great day for Canadians.”

“We now have a Pan-Canadian agreement,” the minister said. “All provinces and territories have agreed to the forward work we’re going to do.”

The two sides have agreed to a deal on “targeted funding” for those two areas, but have not signed what has been commonly called the federal health accord, a spokesperson for provincial Health Minister Kelvin Goertzen said.

The Progressive Conservative government “will continue our fight to negotiate a health care accord with all provinces and territories that secures a strong, safe and sustainable health care system,” the spokesperson said in a statement on Monday.

Manitoba has been a sole holdout in signing the accord on health with the federal government.

Under a previous 13-year arrangement that expired last year, the provinces saw health transfers grow by six per cent annually.

The increase will now be closer to three per cent, and Goertzen said the difference will cost Manitoba $2.25 billion over 10 years.

Goertzen is expected to take questions from the media at 11:30 a.m.

The agreed upon money is targeted to specific programs, including $7.27 million for home and community care, $3.6 million for mental health and addictions.

Philpott said the money is targeted investment in areas of “shared priorities” agreed on by all the provinces, including Manitoba.

The agreement includes $5 million to battle opioid addiction and “the disproportionately high rate of chronic kidney disease suffered by Manitobans, particularly among Indigenous peoples,” according to the province’s news release.

Philpott said the provinces will now have to agree on a set of shared metrics to prove that the money is being effective.​

The province also announced Monday that the two levels of governments are looking at ways to improve the delivery of health care to northern and remote Indigenous communities “with particular emphasis on transportation and procurement challenges.”

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Manitoba signs health funding agreement but not health accord: minister

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