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B.C. health minister reignites calls for more federal funding on eve of national conference


On the eve of the meeting of Canada’s health ministers in Vancouver, B.C.'s Adrian Dix says calling for a boost in federal funding remains the top priority. 

The two-day conference will be the first face-to-face meeting of federal, provincial and territorial ministers since 2018.

With much of the country struggling with significant staffing shortages and patient backlogs in hospitals and health-care facilities, it comes at a pivotal moment.

“The provinces have been strongly united on the need to renegotiate the Canada health transfer,” Dix told reporters Sunday.

“The federal share is declining and is expected to decline,” he said.

Premiers, led by B.C.'s outgoing leader John Horgan, have previously pushed for a meeting with the Prime Minister to discuss the matter but to no avail.

"If the federal government doesn't want to be involved, or wants to continue to reduce it's role then that's going to be trouble for every health system in the province, every patient, every nurse every doctor,” said Dix. 

“They just need to step up.” 

CTV News Vancouver has reached out to the office of Federal Health Minister, Jean Yves-Duclos for an interview, but has yet to hear back.

While funding may be a key talking point, the new president of the Canadian Medical Association, Dr. Alika Lafontaine is hoping progress can be made on other issues.

"What we need coming out of this meeting this week is to have action, direction from the provinces, territories and the federal government that they're willing together on a common cause,” he said.

Lafontaine says the CMA is hoping to see progress made on things like retention incentives for healthcare workers and improved virtual care.

“Every time we don’t deal with the crisis we're in, they come back again worse than they were before,”

"We are at a point in the cycle where I truly think were at the lowest point in morale,” Said Lafontaine.

He says he’s hopeful the provinces can work with the feds to meet the urgency of the current moment. 

“A journey of a hundred steps starts with a single step and I think if we start walking now, in a few months, in a few years from now were going to be really happy with where the health-care system will end up,” Top Stories

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