Ford makes ‘specific recommendations’ on fed health-care deal at premiers’ meeting

Ontario Premier Doug Ford believes the federal government will accept his recommendations on the sustainability of a new health-care deal.

The premiers of the provinces and territories discussed Monday the offer on the table from Ottawa about boosting health-care funding.

The federal government has offered more than $46 billion to provinces and territories to augment the Canada Health Transfer.

The premiers say the deal amounts to a bump in the feds’ share of health-care dollars to 24 per cent from 22 per cent – less than the 35 per cent share premiers called for.

Ford has said Ontario will take any new health-care dollars, but wants a commitment much longer than the 10 years Ottawa has proposed.

Ford’s office says the premiers had a “very productive and positive” discussion about Ottawa’s proposal.

“Premier Ford put forward specific recommendations that he is confident the federal government will accept that ensures the agreement is sustainable and provides certainty for all provinces and territories, including Ontario,” Ford’s office said in a statement following the premiers’ meeting Monday.

His office says those recommendations, which it did not disclose, are data driven and that personal health information would be protected.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said the deal comes with strings attached, including sharing data to build a national database on health care.

Ford and Ontario Health Minister Sylvia Jones met last week with Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc and federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos after the federal government presented its offer to premiers.

Ford has said any new money on health care would go toward hiring more doctors and nurses as well as investments in home care and long-term care.

Ottawa is also working out separate bilateral deals with provinces and territories to address needs specific to those jurisdictions.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 13, 2023.  

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