'Less money available for nurses and doctors and health care'

The premiers seem unimpressed with Jim Flaherty’s change to the health care funding formula.

Canada’s premiers and territorial leaders say they stand to lose almost $36 billion in health transfers over a 10-year period if Ottawa proceeds with its disputed plan to alter how it calculates the payments to the provinces and territories … Selinger said the new scheme reduces Ottawa’s contribution to the health-care costs of provinces and territories to less than 20 per cent…

Flaherty announced last December that health transfer payments would increase at six per cent annually until 2017. After that, the transfers would be tied to the rate of economic growth and inflation — currently estimated to be about four per cent — but the government wouldn’t let the amounts fall below three per cent.

This goes back to the question of what the Conservatives promised during last year’s election and that includes what the Finance Minister spelled out in an interview with the CBC’s Kathleen Petty. Despite all that talk about six percent—with a slight hedge from an unnamed Conservative spokesman to the Canadian Medical Association Journal—Mr. Flaherty tabled his revised funding formula in December.