06 Dec Dec 6/11 – Media Release: Feds must fund public health care
Tuesday, 06 December 2011
For Immediate Release
December 6, 2011
Feds Must Fund Public Health Care Properly
Halifax, NS – The Nova Scotia Citizens’ Health Care Network is pleased to hear all four Atlantic Premiers call for a sustained federal funding commitment to the future of public health care. At the meeting of the Council of Atlantic Premiers yesterday, Premier Darrell Dexter urged the federal government to increase its contribution to public health care in Nova Scotia to 25% of public health care costs.
“Currently, federal funding amounts to about 20.1% of total funding for health care in Nova Scotia. This is down considerably over the years from close to 50% when Medicare was created in the 1960s and about 25% when the 2004 Health Accord was signed,” says Kyle Buott, Coordinator of the Health Network.
While 25% would be a step forward in the short term, the Health Network calls on the federal government to increase its share of health care funding to 50% and be a full partner in providing Canadians with access to the health care they need in the long run. The federal government should be actively working to ensure Canadians have access to the same high quality health care regardless of the province in which they live.
“Increasing federal funding from 20.1% to 25% of the health budget would be a significant investment to improve public health care – an increase of about $183.1 million in 2011-2012,” says Buott. “Investing this money into primary health care, mental health, and access to health care services would make a world of difference for patients.”
The Health Network is calling on provincial, territorial and federal governments to protect, strengthen and extend public health care in the coming 2014 Health Accords. Increased federal funding is key to strengthening public health care.
Preparations for these Accord negotiations began on Nov. 24th and 25th in Halifax when provincial and territorial health ministers met at the Lord Nelson hotel. Health Network activists have also recently returned from meetings with Atlantic MPs and Senators in Ottawa as part of the Canadian Health Coalition’s National Medicare Week lobby on December 1.
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All numbers from the Department of Finance Estimates and Supplementary Details 2011-2012
Total Health and Wellness Budget: $3.768 billion
Canada Health Transfer: $759 million
Portion of health care costs paid by federal government: 20.1%
25% of total Health budget: $942 million
Difference between 25% and 20.1%: $183.1 million
For more information please contact:
Nova Scotia Citizens’ Health Care Network
Cell – (902) 478-0239
About the Nova Scotia Citizens’ Health Care Network:
Formed in 1996, the Nova Scotia Citizens’ Health Care Network’s goal is to stop the privatization of the public health care system, ensure high levels of care, and create a forum for people and communities to discuss issues in health care.
The Network is a coalition of local health committees, community groups, organized labour, faith groups and individuals dedicated to protecting and advancing public health care to include services like pharmacare, dental care and long-term and home care.
The Network is political but non-partisan and receives no government funding.