October 27, 2021

The Queens County Citizen

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“Unsustainable” health costs, Minister Dubey said

"Unsustainable" health costs, Minister Dubey said

Quebec is pushing for an increase in federal transfers. The health and finance ministers categorized that Ottawa should increase the Canada Health Transfer (CCT) to avoid funding other state missions in the coming years.

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“The problem is that our resources are limited and health represents 43% of our budget. If we increase the health budget more than 5% a year, we will have less resources for other state missions. We need help from the federal government, and resources for our other state missions, such as education. Health needs additional federal support in providing it for free, ”said Finance Minister Eric Girard.

“The problem must be solved now, because other ministries have paid for the increase in health spending and there is no problem from this year,” his colleague Christian Dubey added in an interview with TVA. Nouvelles.

Health: 43% of Quebec spending

Health spending in Quebec has been rising for 17 years, according to Finance Ministry data. They went from $ 22 billion in 2004 to $ 45 billion in 2020, with a budget of more than $ 107 billion.

Since the 1990s, all governments have demanded more money from Ottawa for health care.

“Historically, federal cooperation has reached 50%, today it is 22%,” the finance minister said.

Still, according to Eric Girard, federal officials are well aware of the situation when it comes to work sessions with their regional counterparts.

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“They filed accurate figures. The share of the federal government has declined. When we look at federal public finance, they are in better health than the provinces. It is undeniable that the federal government in Canada does not contribute enough to health,” Eric Girard concluded.

Decrease in Canada health transfer percentage by 2020

From 2004 to 2020, Canada’s health transfer increased from 17% to 21%, from $ 4 billion to $ 9 billion.

During the same period, Quebec spending doubled in 2020 to $ 45 billion. What ministers are concerned about is that even if Ottawa pays more, its share of funding will fall to less than 20% in 2025, then spending will reach more than $ 58 billion on health.

“If it does not change, I do not think it will be sustainable, not only because the” famous boomers “are aging in the population, but also because the 40-45 year olds among us are already retiring in twenty years,” Minister Dubey said, urging the Ottawa purse strings to be untied.

The finance minister is adamant. Ottawa is in a better long-term economic situation than the provinces. “We look forward to 20 years, the federal government’s financial conditions are healthy and the provinces are in trouble because of health,” he explained.

Prime Minister Legalt will make a list of his demands for federal leaders this week. He insisted on a transfer in health, we were told. Like other provinces, Quebec is seeking a 35% increase in CHT, representing over six billion.