How bilateral health accords could help improve everything from wait times to staffing shortages – CBC

It’s time to end the debate over whether health investments should come with ‘conditions’ or ‘strings’

Jan 24, 2023

The prime minister’s statement on Jan. 16 that there were “positive steps forward” toward breaking the long-standing impasse in the debate over health care financing should come as welcome news to Canadians.

In particular, both the PM and some of the premiers seem intent on moving away from the traditional federal-provincial-territorial debate over whether new federal investments in health should come with “conditions” or “strings.” Rather the talk was of “shared priorities.”

With a health-care system increasingly admitted to being in crisis and a reigniting debate over private delivery and possibly private payment for some services, this is positive news in a policy area in desperate need of some.

Indeed, the provinces and the federal government already know how to recast the debate over “strings” and “conditions” because they have done it before. First with the 2017 health care agreements and then again in the intergovernmental child-care funding agreements signed in the past few years.

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