Feds commit another $2B to provinces to address health backlogs caused by COVID-19

Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos says the federal government will commit another $2 billion to help provincial health systems work through their surgical and diagnostic backlogs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funding, contained in the newly tabled Bill C-17, follows a $4-billion top-up to the federal health transfer last summer and is expected to be a one-time payment.

Throughout the pandemic hospitals across the country had to delay non-emergency procedures to make way for urgent COVID-19 cases.

That’s led to delayed care for millions of Canadians, on top of already lengthy wait lists for many procedures and diagnostic tests.

The Liberals promised an immediate $6-billion investment to address backlogs during the 2021 federal election campaign.

Provinces have been asking the federal government to provide an increased share of health spending on a long-term basis so they can make more sustainable changes to address the stress on their health-care systems.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 25, 2022.