NDP MLA Russell says Premier Horgan’s push for increased federal health care funding benefits Interior

INTERIOR – Nelson-Creston New Democrat MLA Roly Russell says Premier John Horgan is leading Canada’s premiers in calling on the federal government to increase funding for health care, in order to strengthen services for people in the Interior and across the province.

“People working in healthcare continue to show up everyday to make sure that everyone across the Interior can get the care they need, even two years into the pandemic,” said MLA Russell. “To build upon all our work improving the healthcare system, we need more from the federal government. I’m really proud to see Premier Horgan leading that charge for people across Canada, and look forward to delivering even better health services to the people of British Columbia.”

This morning, Premier Horgan chaired a virtual meeting of Canada’s premiers to discuss the urgent need to resolve the structural funding shortfall facing our health care systems. All premiers are united in calling on the federal government to increase its share of provincial-territorial health care costs through the Canada Health Transfer to 35%.

MLA Russell says this funding increase from the federal government will help to support investments in priority areas of health care for the Interior including long-term care, mental health and addictions care, and access to primary care.

When universal health care was established, it was evenly funded between the federal and provincial governments, but now provinces are covering approximately 80% of the costs. Recent polling shows 87% of Canadians agree that an immediate increase in funding and resources is needed to help alleviate the strain the pandemic has put on their province or territory’s healthcare system.

Premier Horgan, the Chair of the Council of the Federation, is calling for a First Ministers Meeting with the Prime Minister to focus on health transfers to achieve a joint commitment to improve and strengthen healthcare across the country.