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B.C. and Ottawa reach $27 billion health funding agreement

The British Columbia government has agreed in principle to a $27.47 billion deal for health-care funding from the federal government.
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B.C. Premier David Eby answers a question as Canada’s premiers hold a press conference following a meeting on health care in Ottawa on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023. The British Columbia government has agreed in principle to a $27.47 billion deal for health-care funding from the federal government.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

The British Columbia government has agreed in principle to a $27.47 billion deal for health-care funding from the federal government.

The agreement is a step toward completing a $196-billion, 10-year health-care funding proposal that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made with Canada’s premiers last month.

The money for B.C. includes an immediate $273 million to address urgent needs, especially in pediatric hospitals and emergency rooms and to address long wait times for surgeries.

The federal government says in a news release that B.C.’s priorities include access to high-quality health services when residents need them, especially in rural and remote areas, timely mental health and substance-use services and allowing residents access to their own electronic health information.

Ottawa has said the provinces must come up with specific plans for how they would spend the money and prove that their health-care systems are getting better.

The offer made by Trudeau to Canada’s premiers included health transfers of two billion dollars right away and annual increases of five per cent over the next five years, but only if each province agrees to conditions, including upgrading health data collection.

RELATED: Trudeau lays out $196-billion, 10-year health-care deal to premiers

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