Ottawa cuts strings from federal health cash

Provinces will be somewhat free to experiment under new formula

Canadian provinces can do what they please with future federal health care dollars, although Ottawa will continue to encourage them to work together to establish national benchmarks for delivery the Globe and Mail reports. Federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq sent a letter to her provincial counterparts on Tuesday urging them to move beyond the “divisive issue of funding.” That’s a reference to the government’s decision, announced on Monday, to tie future health transfers to inflation and GDP growth. Under the current formula, which has been extended to 2017, the provinces were guaranteed an annual six per cent increase in health transfers. Some provinces have reacted with fury to the new offer, which Ottawa says it will not negotiate. But by announcing on Tuesday that the new money comes, essentially, with few strings, Ottawa has left the provinces with little leverage to force further talks.

Globe and Mail

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