Manitoba has secured an additional $10.9 million in federal health funding and commitments to support key provincial priorities, Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Kelvin Goertzen announced today.
For the 2017-18 fiscal year, the federal government will provide Manitoba with targeted funding of $7.27 million in funding for home and community care, and $3.63 million for initiatives to address mental health and addictions. Funding will begin to flow to Manitoba immediately.
Manitoba will also be receiving an additional $5 million in federal funding during the current 2017-18 year, in other critical areas identified by the province. Manitoba will use these funds in the battle against opioid addiction and the disproportionately high rate of chronic kidney disease suffered by Manitobans, particularly among Indigenous peoples, the minister noted.
In addition, the governments of Canada and Manitoba agreed to work together with Indigenous organizations and governments to pursue improvements in health-care service delivery for remote Indigenous communities, with particular emphasis on transportation and procurement challenges.
“Our government has consistently championed Indigenous health concerns and was very pleased to see the federal government commit extensive additional funding for First Nations and Inuit health in its last budget. We look forward to seeing that translate to direct benefits for Indigenous people in Manitoba,” said Goertzen. “Manitoba will continue to work with local Indigenous organizations and communities to identify collaborative health-care improvements and advocate for appropriate long-term federal action and investment.”
While additional targeted funding to support health services for Manitobans is welcome, it is no substitute for a strengthened growth model in the annual Canada Health Transfer, Goertzen said.
“We will continue to stand up for the people of Manitoba, by pressing the federal government to negotiate a real health accord with all provinces and territories that actually secures a strong, safe and sustainable health-care system for all Canadians,” he added.
Health care is the single most important priority of Canadians, the minister said. Yet a growing body of independent research has already concluded the federal government’s current health-care transfer funding approach will place the sustainability of health services at risk.
Over the next 10 years, the federal government will provide Manitoba with a total of $399.6 million in targeted funding for home and community care and mental health and addiction initiatives. But over the same time-frame, Manitoba will receive $2.25 billion less through the Canada Health Transfer than it would have under previous funding arrangements, the minister noted.
“Addressing this large funding gap – and the threat to health services it creates – is essential. And we will continue to call on the federal government to join us in a true health-care funding partnership that will protect the services that Manitobans rely upon,” said Goertzen.