WHITEHORSE – Yesterday a report was released by a University of Ottawa think tank that suggests that the new healthcare funding levels offered by the federal government to the provinces and territories are insufficient to meet the increasing pressures on provincial and territorial health care systems. This means that jurisdictions may be forced to reduce health services provided.
“The report suggests that health care costs will rise much faster than the growth in health transfers in the deal signed by Minister Frost,” stated Patti McLeod, Official Opposition Health Critic and MLA for Watson Lake. “This is concerning as it suggests that the Government may have to look at cutting back on services.
Making this cost pressure even worse is the deal that the Yukon Government signed contains no money for the Territory’s medical travel program which already has challenges meeting the needs of Yukoners and is one of the most expensive parts of the Health budget.”
The Council of the Federation requested a 5.2% annual increase to funding, based on data provided by the Chief Parliamentary Officer and the Conference Board of Canada which suggested health costs would increase at that rate. As the report suggests, regardless of which forecasts are used, health care costs will rise faster than the 3.7% annual growth that Ottawa is willing to commit.
Other provinces confirm the findings of the report and have indicated that the funding under the federal offer is unsustainable.
“Does the Yukon Government think this funding level is unsustainable, and if it is will they go back to the negotiation table to try and get a deal that’s good for Yukon instead of one that’s only good for Ottawa,” McLeod added.