B.C. Health Minister Terry Lake is retiring from politics next spring.

Health care costs rising faster, Lake warns

Health ministers meet in Ottawa, federal minister Jane Philpott is keeping the Stephen Harper cap on increases in health transfers

B.C. has kept annual growth of its health care budget below three per cent in recent years, but it won’t last forever, Health Minister Terry Lake says.

At meetings with provincial and territorial ministers in Toronto this week, Lake said the expectation of care by aging baby boomers, along with a pressing need to expand mental health and addiction services, mean health care bills will continue to grow toward half of provincial budgets.

“There’s no doubt that the federal government has indicated a willingness to create a long-term agreement with provinces and territories on health care funding,” Lake said at a closing news conference. “We look forward to seeing what that will look like.”

It’s the first health ministers’ meeting since federal Health Minister Jane Philpott surprised provinces by carrying on with the previous Conservative government’s limits on health spending growth. The Justin Trudeau government is discontinuing the six per cent annual increases in transfer payments put in place by the Paul Martin Liberal government, and has budgeted for a three per cent increase next year.

Trudeau and Philpott have promised to direct an additional $3 billion to home care, including palliative care.

Dr. Granger Avery, the former Port McNeill family doctor who took over this year as president of the Canadian Medical Association, said the first priority is to “act on health care renewal now.” The CMA has long argued that Canada’s monopoly health care system retains a post-war acute care hospital model in a country dominated by chronic care patients.

B.C. points to its rising share of retirees as a factor Ottawa should consider in its funding formula. Nova Scotia health minister Leo Glavine said t’s the Atlantic provinces that have the highest proportion of seniors.

 

Just Posted

It’s the last day to vote in B.C.’s referendum on electoral reform

Ballots must now be dropped off in person to meet the deadline of 4:30 p.m.

North Coast First Nation chief says one major oil spill could ruin economy forever

Chief Marilyn Slett of Heiltsuk Nation near Bella Bella is leading a delegation in Ottawa this week

How to decide what to vote for in B.C.’s referendum on electoral reform

Ballots are due at Elections BC on Friday, Dec. 7, at 4:30 p.m.

Northern Health investigates racist posts of possible employee

Facebook comments call for segregated health authorities

‘Abhorrent’ condition of autistic B.C. boy shows flaws in care system: report

‘Charlie’ was underweight and ‘covered in feces’ when he was removed from his mom’s care

Military closes book on oft-criticized support unit for ill, injured troops

The transition unit will provide support and services to military members struggling with physical and mental injuries so they can return to work.

Vancouver Canucks rookie Elias Pettersson named NHL’s first star of the week

Canucks centre scored two goals and six assists in three games

Protester says Canada doing U.S. ‘dirty work’ outside Huawei exec’s bail hearing

The U.S. wants to extradite Meng to face fraud allegations after Canada arrested the high-profile technology executive.

Break-in at home of detained Chinese Huawei executive

Meng Wanzhou was detained in Vancouver on America’s request

Natural gas rates will go up in B.C. on Jan. 1

Regions could pay up to $68 more

Top House Dems raise prospect of impeachment, jail for Trump

It could be an “impeachable offense” if it’s proven that President Donald Trump directed illegal hush-money payments to women during the 2016 campaign.

Macron addresses France amid protests; is it too late?

Paris monuments reopened, cleanup workers cleared debris and shop owners tried to put the city on its feet again Sunday.

Most Read