The 2004 Health Accord was a 10 year agreement between the federal government and provinces that set strong stable levels for health care funding. It helped to ensure equal access and high quality of care for patients across the country. It also reduced wait times for many surgeries.
When the Accord expired in 2014, the Conservative government refused to negotiate a new agreement. Instead they announced a $36 billion cut over the next decade.
Canadians need a new health accord that provides adequate health funding and ensures high quality of care from coast to coast to coast.
When the Health Accord expired in 2014, the Federal Conservatives unilaterally changed the Canada Health Transfer to a per-capita model. Instead of considering need, health care funding will be based on population alone.
Starting in 2017, the funding model will change again. The annual increases will depend on a provinces’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP). These changes reward provinces with a large population and high economic growth, while punishing less populated (and often rural) poorer provinces.
With an aging rural population and high rates of chronic disease, Nova Scotia will lose over $902 million. This huge loss of funding will have severe impacts on the ability of the province to meet the needs of patients.
Even the Parliamentary Budget Officer, the independent office responsible for assessing Canada’s finances, has issue dire warnings. They estimate that by as soon as 2034, provincial health budgets will face chronic deficits and provinces will be unable to maintain our health-care system in its present form.
Last July, all 13 of Canada’s premiers condemned the cut and called on the federal government to increase its share of health funding to 25%.
Canadians need a new health accord with strong stable funding and national standards of care.