On November 22 and 23, Canada's premiers are holding an economic summit in Halifax. Stephen Harper was invited, but he's not coming
On the agenda is the Canada Health Transfer (CHT), the federal financial contribution allotted to the provinces to pay for health care. In December last year, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced cuts to the CHT totalling $36 billion by the end of 2024.
These cuts are already felt in Halifax's maternity ward, where new parents must purchase the diapers used by their newborns. Instead of talking about health care being a universal right and proud Canadian value, we're nickel-and-diming patients.
Hospitals and other health care service providers are so strapped for cash that - similar to Americans - Canadians are being billed for even the smallest non-medically necessary services.
Think hospital parking fees are bad now? Just wait until the full effect of these cuts kick in - after the next federal election.
In addition to chopping $36 billion in transfer payments, the federal government is negotiating a new trade agreement with the EU that will add $2.8 billion to drug costs.
A patent extension will keep cheaper generics off the shelf for several more years. Canada already has some of the longest patent times for new drugs in the developed world, and we pay some of the highest prices.
Indifference to higher drug costs exemplifies the federal government's diminishing role in medicare. When medicare was first established in Canada, the provinces and the federal government agreed to a 50-50 cost-sharing arrangement.
Today, the federal government contributes approximately 20 per cent of health care costs.Read Article Here