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Premiers urge Ottawa again to increase health care funding

Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Health Minister Christine Elliot walk out after being given a tour of a digital Intensive Care Unit room at Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital in Vaughan, Ontario on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Canada’s premiers are reiterating a call for more federal health care funding.

Following a conference call, the premiers issued a statement asking the federal government to increase its share of overall health spending to 35 per cent from 22 per cent.

Read more: Premiers prepare for prolonged battle over increased federal health-care funding

Earlier in the week, the western premiers agreed to push the federal government to lay out a detailed plan and timeline to reopen international borders.

With COVID-19 numbers dropping, the provincial and territorial leaders are planning to meet in person in October.

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister, who is taking over as chair of the Council of the Federation, says he and his colleagues will gather in Winnipeg, with appropriate public health measures in place.

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Click to play video: 'Premier Brian Pallister asks feds for help as COVID-19 cases climb, ICU capacity struggles' Premier Brian Pallister asks feds for help as COVID-19 cases climb, ICU capacity struggles
Premier Brian Pallister asks feds for help as COVID-19 cases climb, ICU capacity struggles – May 21, 2021

Health care and the economy are expected to be key themes of that get-together.

“As we emerge from the pandemic, our focus will be on restoring economic growth and our health systems,” Pallister said in a written statement.

“We urgently need a long-term federal funding partnership so provinces and territories can address crucial health priorities, such as reducing wait times and backlogs of medical treatments and surgeries.”

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