The federal government said Friday it has signed an agreement in principle with Manitoba to invest more than $6.7 billion in the province’s health-care system over 10 years.
That includes more than $1.2 billion for a new bilateral agreement focusing on shared health-care priorities.
It also includes $72 million in an immediate, one-time top up to the Canada Health Transfer paid to Manitoba to address urgent needs, especially in pediatric hospitals and emergency rooms and for long surgical wait times.
Federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said the agreement is an opportunity for Ottawa and Manitoba to continue to work together on improving the experience of health workers and those they care for.
“It will modernize our health-care system, improve access to family health services and mental health services, reduce surgical backlogs and support health workers,” he said in a news release.
“Better quality of care means helping Manitobans and Canadians live longer, healthier lives.”
Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson said in a release that her Progressive Conservative government is investing in addressing surgical and diagnostic backlogs, health human resources, supports for seniors, mental health and addictions and building capacity across the system.
“This new federal funding will build on our shared priorities to improve health-care services for all Manitobans,” she said.
“We look forward to working constructively with the federal government on our specific needs and priorities, while continuing the important dialogue to support the long-term sustainability and predictability that Canadians expect of us.”
Manitoba becomes the the sixth province to sign onto a new health-care deal proposed by Ottawa earlier this month. Ontario and the four Atlantic provinces signed Thursday.
Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc has said more would join next week.
The “agreements in principle” are a first step to completing the $196-billion, 10-year health-care funding proposal that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made on Feb. 7.
To get the money, the provinces must come up with specific plans showing how they would spend it and how they would prove to Canadians that their health-care systems are getting better.