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Government of Canada signs two bilateral agreements with Quebec to support initiatives to improve health care

by ahnationtalk on March 28, 202420 Views

From: Health Canada

March 27, 2024

Quebecers deserve a health care system that provides them with timely access to health care services whenever and wherever they are needed, as well as the ability to age with dignity closer to home.

Today, the Honourable Mark Holland, Canada’s Minister of Health, announced the signing of two bilateral agreements to invest more than $3.7 billion in federal funding to improve health care in Quebec. These agreements represent the first funding under the government’s commitment to invest $6.7 billion in Quebec over a ten-year period.

The Government of Canada will initially provide $2.5 billion to support Quebec’s Department of Health and Social Services’ 2023-2027 strategic plan.

Quebec has established 25 indicators and targets in its strategic plan, which are appended to the agreement, and will continue to make health results available to the public, including through it’s existing online Dashboard. Quebec will collaborate with the Canadian Institute for Health Information to promote the development, use and sharing of common indicators for its health and social services. This will enable the sharing of best practices and ensure continuous improvement of the health care system.

This plan will:

  • Improve access to family health teams
    • Open new front-line clinics and add front-line professionals;
    • Develop the “Votre Santé” platform to make it easier to book appointments;
    • Introduce a helicopter medical transport service; and
    • Improve care for patients with rare or chronic diseases.
  • Reduce surgical and diagnostic backlogs
    • Maintain the new approach developed for vaccination and screening, extending its scope to other front-line services; and
    • Update the emergency measures plan and the supply of personal protective equipment.
  • Accelerate the digital shift in the healthcare network, to finalize the creation of an easy-to-use interface for patients and healthcare professionals. This transition will be piloted in two facilities, before being rolled out across the entire network.
  • Strengthen mental health and social services
    • Enhance support for community organizations working in health and social services;
    • Increase mental health, homelessness and addiction services;
    • Create new respite care spaces for parents of disabled children; and
    • Strengthen care and services for troubled youth.

In addition, the Government of Canada will contribute close to $1.2 billion to support Quebec’s five-year action plan to help people age with dignity close to home, with access to home care or care in a safe long-term care facility. This plan will:

  • Improve access to home and community care
    • Offer increased support to community groups and social economy companies that provide home care services; and
    • Increase the availability of service hours for long-term, short-term and palliative home care.
  • Improve safety and quality of life for residents of long-term care facilities
    • Offer housing adapted to the needs of seniors for a quality living environment;
    • Support the deployment of seniors’ homes and alternative housing; and
    • Care for seniors and their caregivers by offering free access to shingles vaccination.

Quebec’s health care system is based on the principles of universality, accessibility, comprehensiveness, portability and public management. Canada’s and Quebec’s departments of Health are committed to measuring and reporting the progress of collective and government-specific objectives towards their citizens.

The governments of Canada and Quebec recognize the importance of supporting health data infrastructure, including data collection and public reporting. This will improve the transparency of results, help manage public health emergencies, and ensure that individuals can access their own health information, which will be shared among health care workers in all health care settings.

The governments of Canada and Quebec recognize the right of Indigenous peoples to receive health care services that are appropriate and adapted to their needs, in a spirit of reconciliation. This is why they are committed to improving health care services for all residents of the province, especially by addressing the needs of underserved and disadvantaged populations.

Quotes

“Quebecers deserve to have access to the health care they need, regardless of their age or place of residence. Thanks to this collaboration between our two governments, the federal government will invest billions over the next few years in Quebec’s health care system. This will help meet Quebec’s unique needs by improving access to health care, optimizing communications through a digital shift, and enabling our seniors to age with dignity.”

The Honourable Mark Holland
Minister of Health

“Through this agreement, we will work with Quebec to integrate mental health and substance use care as an integral and equal part of our universal health care system. This agreement will strengthen the capacity of community organizations offering social services, increase mental health services related to homelessness and substance addiction, and increase the number of services for parents of children with disabilities or difficulties. Together, we must ensure that all Quebecers have access to the services they need, when they need them.”

The Honourable Ya’ara Saks
Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada supports Quebec’s health care system. Since 2015, more than $73 billion have been transferred to Quebec through health transfers and bilateral agreements.
  • Budget 2023 outlined the Government of Canada’s plan to invest close to $200 billion over 10 years, including $46.2 billion in new funding for provinces and territories, to improve health care for Canadians. Within this funding, $25 billion is allocated through new tailored bilateral agreements to address the unique needs of their populations and geography in four shared health priorities:
    • expanding access to family health care services, including in rural and remote areas;
    • supporting health workers and reducing backlogs;
    • increasing mental health and substance use support; and
    • modernizing health care systems with health data and digital tools.
  • The Working Together investment also includes  a guaranteed 5 per cent Canada Health Transfer (CHT) increase for the next five years — estimated to amount to $17.5 billion — and a one time CHT $2 billion top-up to address to urgent needs of emergency rooms and paediatric hospitals delivered in June 2023. Combined, these investments provide provinces and territories the flexibility to address the unique needs of their populations and geography, and accelerate health care system improvements.
  • As part of the Working Together bilateral agreements, including the one to support Quebec’s health priorities, provinces and territories are developing action plans that outline how targeted funds will be spent and how progress will be measured. The Agreement can be found here.
  • Budget 2017 committed $11 billion over 10 years in federal funding to provinces and territories to improve access to home and community care, and mental health and addictions services for Canadians. Bilateral agreements were signed with provinces and territories to access the first six years of that funding. The final four years of funding for mental health and addictions are included in the Working Together bilateral agreements.
  • The government is also working with the provinces and territories to implement a second bilateral agreement focused on helping Canadians age with dignity, close to home, and with access to home care or care in a safe long-term care facility. This agreement includes the remaining $2.4 billion over 4 years provided in Budget 2017 ($600 million per year for fiscal years 2023-2024 to 2026-2027) to improve access to home and community care, as well as the $3 billion over 5 years provided in Budget 2021 ($600 million per year for fiscal years 2023-2024 to 2027-2028) for long-term care to enforce standards of care in long-term care facilities and promote workforce stability. The Agreement can be found here.

Associated links

Contacts

Christopher Aoun
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Mark Holland
Minister of Health
613-291-4176

Yuval Daniel
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Ya’ara Saks
Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health
819-360-6927

Media Relations
Health Canada
613-957-2983
media@hc-sc.gc.ca

Public Enquiries
613-957-2991
1-866-225-0709

NT4

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