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N.B., Ottawa Reach Agreement On Health-Care Funding

By Brad Perry Feb 23, 2023 | 4:24 PM

New Brunswick has reached an agreement in principle with Ottawa on increased health-care funding.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed the agreement during a town hall in Halifax on Thursday.

It came just a day after provincial and federal officials met in Saint John to continue discussions.

“I think we’re close to coming to an agreement in principle which would allow New Brunswick to plan how they’ll use these incremental federal dollars,” Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc said following Wednesday’s meeting.

New Brunswick will receive $3.64 billion in federal funding over 10 years, including $900 million for a new bilateral agreement.

That agreement will focus on four shared priorities: expanding access to family health services, supporting health workers and reducing backlogs, improving access to quality mental health and substance use services, and modernizing the health care system with standardized health data and digital tools.

New Brunswick will also receive an immediate one-time Canada Health Transfer top-up of $42 million to “address urgent needs, especially in pediatric hospitals and emergency rooms, and long wait times for surgeries.”

Work will now begin on a bilateral agreement based on an initial three-year action plan that will detail targets, timelines and additional common indicators related to shared health priorities.

“Transparency will behoove all governments to work together to get those better results. We wouldn’t want to be standing here a year from now explaining why we haven’t met the shared-upon, agreed-upon metrics,” LeBlanc said Wednesday.

The federal government recently proposed a 10-year, $198.6-billion investment in Canada’s health care system, which was accepted by the premiers.

It included more than $46 billion in new funding, including $25 billion targeted at the four priority areas.


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