2023-01-23 21:53:05

Federal minister reports 'a lot of progress' in health-care talks with provinces

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By John Paul Tasker

Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc said Monday that ongoing federal-provincial talks onthe Canada Health Transfer are goingwell and there could be a summit betweenthe prime minister and the premiers in the coming days to finalize an increase to the Canada Health Transfer.

Speaking to reporters in Hamiltonahead of a cabinet retreat, LeBlanc said he's been working the phones,talking to premiers and senior provincial officialsas Ottawa looks to secure an agreement to increase the federal-provincial CHTtransfer with conditions attached.

The provinces have been demanding a multi-billion dollar cash injection to stand up a system that has been undermined by COVID-19 and labour shortages.

Ottawa has said it wants its investment to go beyond short-term fixesto deliver systemic change to a systemthat faces a multitude of challenges inprimary care, mental health, long-term care, virtual care and data collection.

"There's been a lot of progress over the weekend," LeBlanc said. "I'm optimistic."

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