The Trudeau government has inked a deal for health care funding with Saskatchewan — despite the province’s concerns about the amount of money and how Ottawa is dictating its spending.
The deal is for an additional 348.8-million dollars over 10 years — primarily for investments in home and mental-health care.
“The Federal Government made it perfectly clear we weren’t going to have a First Ministers meeting on this, and was not going to budge on these numbers,” says Health Minister Jim Reiter. “A number of provinces have signed onto this and there are some significant stresses on mental health and home care in this province and we thought it was time to get on with the work.”
Health minister Reiter says this agreement also includes a separate pact on the contentious two-for-one MRI scan program in Saskatchewan — which is something the federal government has expressed its displeasure.
The Saskatchewan government has been given a year to prove the MRI deal will be successful in reducing wait-lists.
“It gives us a year to advocate for two-for-one MRIs,” said Reiter. “We have a strong case for this and I’m going to make that case as strongly as I can.”
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Saskatchewan joins the Atlantic provinces and all three territories in striking similar deals with Ottawa.
Reiter believes other provinces will also be announcing their own separate deals in the very near future.