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Canada’s premiers asks Ottawa to pick up the phone, want to reform health-care system

Calgary, May 28: Western Canada’s premiers want to reform their health-care systems by expanding services but they say Ottawa first needs to pick up the phone.

At the premiers meeting in Regina, British Columbia Premier John Horgan said health-care services are no longer sustainable coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The premiers say they are struggling to add more levels of care and current needs are not being met.

“We’re now concerned about accessing the system because of the frailty of the providers and the inability to meet the expectations of the public,” Horgan said.

“Now is the time for a new vision in health care in Canada. Now is the time for all of us to come together, despite our differences, and deliver what is expected of us.”

The premiers said it comes down to funding — provinces want a $28-billion increase to health transfers, which would bring the federal funding share to 35 per cent from 22 per cent.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said Ottawa isn’t picking up the phone, and would like them to come to the table to negotiate.

The premiers said it comes down to funding — provinces want a $28-billion increase to health transfers, which would bring the federal funding share to 35 per cent from 22 per cent.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said Ottawa isn’t picking up the phone, and would like them to come to the table to negotiate.

“Our population has hit that demographic time bomb and you have a lot more older Canadians needing care in long-term care and acute care,” Kenney said.

He said province’s don’t have enough money to address those needs. Other areas of concern include a lack of health-care workers and more supports for those with mental health needs, he said.

“It saddens us up in the Yukon,” said the territory’s premier Sandy Silver. “We’re trying to get to a revolutionary change in our health-care system, (to have) a people-centric approach and collaborative care.”

Silver said an increase in the Canada Health Transfer would also help provide equal opportunity to people living in Canada’s rural north.

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