December 17, 2013
TORONTO – The federal government is breaking its promise on transfers of health funds to Ontario in the new year. It’s a cut that could impact patient care, say doctors.
“It was bad enough when the federal government cut billions to the provinces when they changed the health transfer formula and walked away from negotiating a 2014 Health Accord. Now they’re cutting hundreds of millions more, leaving patients in the lurch,” said Dr. Monika Dutt, chair of Canadian Doctors for Medicare.
“Ontario was counting on those transfers to support patient care, and now it will have to scramble to make up the shortfall. How can provinces trust that they’ll be able to create sound health care budgets with this kind of dealbreaking?”
When the federal government refused to negotiate a new Health Accord with the provinces, it opened the door to unilateral changes in health care funding, and removed an opportunity to set national standards. The new transfer system tied funds to economic growth, yet the federal government has penalized Ontario for performing well economically with this announcement, cutting approximately $300 million.
“Now we see that process yielding a predictable outcome. Today it’s a cut to Ontario, and it leaves other provinces wondering what negative outcomes they could face in the future,” said Dr. Dutt.
“The need for a new Health Accord has never been clearer. The federal government is demonstrating that it can’t be a reliable partner outside the constraints of a binding deal.”
For more information:
Alissa Von Bargen, Canadian Doctors for Medicare
T: 416-351-3300 C: 647-230-9164