Skip to content

Harper’s ‘Health Care Accord’ impacts provinces

In December 2011, federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty unilaterally announced a non-negotiable federal funding plan that runs to 2024. Under the 2014 Canada Health Accord, federal health care transfers will continue to increase by 6 per cent per year until 2016-17, but after that transfer payments will be tied to the rate of economic growth, now at about 4 per cent. The resulting loss in provincial funding for health care has been estimated at $36 billion over the 10-year period of the accord.

The Globe and Mail reports, “The new formula – which kicks in on April 1 – doles out health transfer cash on a per capita basis rather than factoring in a tax point deal from the 1970s. …Finance ministers learned (this month) the exact dollar impact of a new federal formula for health transfers.”

“Ottawa says it is sticking to its promise of increasing overall health transfers by 6 per cent until 2017-18… Ontario made the most noise last week – bemoaning that its increase will only be 3.4 per cent – but other provinces will be even worse off. British Columbia and Newfoundland and Labrador, for instance, will get virtually no increase at all.”

The article comments, “(The) new transfer rules run until 2024. Provinces will clearly be pushing for changes long before then.”

Roy Romanow has stated that as a result of this funding mechanism, our public health care system will grow weaker, we’ll have more privatization in more provinces, more for-profit medical companies will be doing business, more public-private partnerships, and we’ll see a patchwork-quilt series of programs by the provincial governments based on their fiscal capacity.

Further reading
Harper breaks ‘health accord’ promise to Ontario
Broderick, PEI Health Coalition call for new health care accord
2014 Health Care Accord