Canadian premiers get $34b federal healthcare funding offer

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, speaks during the North America Summit, at the National Palace in Mexico City, Jan 10, 2023. (PHOTO / AP)

Canada's provincial and territorial premiers on Monday said they will accept an additional C$46.2 billion ($34.64 billion) in healthcare funding from the federal government over the next 10 years, but warned the amount falls short of what is needed.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with premiers last week to hammer out a deal to fix the overburdened public healthcare system, which has been under strain due to the COVID-19 pandemic and staffing shortages.

In return for additional funding, the federal government has asked the provinces to commit to some conditions, including better data gathering and sharing.

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Premiers met on Monday to discuss the proposal, and Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson said they were united in their decision to take the funding.

"We have accepted this for now…This is not a long-term solution to the healthcare funding that is needed within this country and by no means is a panacea to fix healthcare," Stefanson said.

"It's a step in the right direction. We recognise that and will be moving forward for here."

As a next step Ottawa will hold bilateral meetings with each province to finalize individual funding agreements.

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