PROVINCE LAUNCHES CONVERSATION ON HEALTH-CARE FUNDING
Manitoba has launched a social media and web based public awareness campaign to inform the public of the significant impact of reduced and eroding federal funding for health care, Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Kelvin Goertzen announced today.
“Health care is the single largest budget item for provinces and territories, each of which is responsible for the delivery of quality health services for Canadians,” said Goertzen. “The federal government’s unilateral approach and refusal to engage in a discussion around the importance of a long-term and sustainable partnership on health care funding should be of concern to every Manitoban.”
Created 50 years ago, Medicare originated with 50/50 cost sharing of health care between federal and provincial governments. Today, provinces pay more than 75 per cent of health-care costs and the federal government continues to reduce growth in health-care funding.
The minister said the result is a $30 billion gap between the proposal the federal government has made to some provinces and territories and what evidence-based studies indicated is actually needed to maintain the sustainability of health-care systems, even with an additional $11 billion in targeted funding.
“Manitoba is facing a challenging fiscal situation and the federal government’s decision to reduce health-care funding by more than $1 billion over the next 10 years is going to put additional strain on our ability to provide services to Manitobans,” said Goertzen. “Federal funding is essential if we are to address the increasing costs associated with the health-care needs of our growing and aging population.”
Manitobans need the federal government at the table for a discussion on the future of health care, the minister said. He is urging Manitobans to join the conversation via social media using the hashtag #sharethehealthcanada and to share their concerns directly with members of Parliament, the minister added.
“By working together, we can find solutions that will work for Canadians,” said Goertzen. “We believe health care is worth the conversation.”