March 29, 2023 (Ottawa, Ontario) – HEAL, Organizations for Health Action, who represent over 40 national health organizations dedicated to improving the health of Canadians and the quality of care they receive, responded today to the recently tabled federal budget.
“HEAL welcomes the additional details provided for the nearly $196 billion provided for new healthcare transfer agreements for the next ten years,” began Hélène Sabourin, Co-Chair of HEAL. “Further collaboration between all levels of government will ensure that we can better address the current healthcare crisis that Canada is experiencing.”
The budget laid out more details regarding the federal government’s requirements for the funding to provinces and territories. This includes ensuring funds are only used for healthcare, that the public healthcare system continues to be upheld, and developing action plans to measure and report progress to Canadians.
“We are hopeful that this funding will support more access by Canadians to team-based healthcare and will help to address some of the pressing concerns that Canada’s healthcare system is currently experiencing, including workforce shortages, delayed surgeries, and over-capacity emergency rooms,” continued Fred Phelps, Co-Chair of HEAL.
The budget also included health Care data$13 billion over five years to implement the Canadian Dental Care Plan, $2 billion in new funding over ten years for the Indigenous Health Equity Fund and investments for better health care data.
“We need a national planning framework that reflects the complex, interdependent health care markets across all health professions,” said Phelps.
The budget did not include a new, permanently funded Canada Mental Health Transfer to scale up investments in mental health and substance use care. This is despite Canadians’ significant unmet need for access to timely, community-based services.
“We are disappointed to see that the budget did not include a Canada Mental Health Transfer, as promised during the election in 2021. We will continue to advocate for mental health parity, at the same time noting that further investments are needed in Canada’s healthcare system,” concluded Sabourin.
Organizations for Health Action (HEAL) is a coalition of 40 national health organizations dedicated to improving the health of Canadians and the quality of care they receive. Our members are professional associations of regulated healthcare providers and organizations of health charities that provide a range of healthcare services across Canada. HEAL now represents more than 650,000 providers (and consumers) of healthcare.
Kyle Larkin, Public Affairs Advisor