TORONTO: Through Budget 2023—A Made-in-Canada Plan, the Government of Canada is making investments that will support a stronger middle class, an affordable economy, and a healthy future for Canadians. Canada’s economic growth was the strongest in the G7 over the last year, and today, 830,000 more Canadians are employed than before the pandemic, including 361,600 in Ontario.
Today, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health, along with the Honourable Kamal Khera, Minister of Seniors, met with health professionals at the Davenport Perth Neighbourhood & Community Health Centre to highlight Budget 2023’s investments to strengthen public health care and support health workers across the country.
Additionally, on behalf of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, the Ministers announced the signature of an agreement with Ontario to continue to improve access to home and community care, and mental health and addictions services. Through this agreement, Ontario will receive over $465 million in 2022-23 from the $11 billion, 10-year investment made in Budget 2017.
To strengthen Canada’s universal public health care system, Budget 2023 highlighted the government’s plan to provide close to $200 billion over 10 years, which includes over $77 billion to Ontario for timely access to a family health team or provider, a sustainable health workforce, better access to quality mental health services, and ensuring patients have access to their own electronic health information. Helping Canadians age with dignity, closer to home, with access to home care or care in a safe long-term care facility is another shared priority where collaborative work is already underway.
Canada’s health workers are the backbone of our health care system, but they are currently experiencing unprecedented challenges, which is why Budget 2023 includes funding to better support them. Together with provinces and territories, work is underway to improve conditions for health workers so that they can keep doing what they do best – keeping patients healthy. Personal support workers (PSWs), for example, take important care of people and deserve to be fairly paid. Budget 2023 includes $1.7 billion over five years to support hourly wage increases for these workers and related professions.
To help more health professionals work in Canada more quickly, we are also working with provinces and territories and other health partners to streamline foreign credential recognition for internationally educated health professionals and advance multi-jurisdictional credential recognition so that well-trained health care professionals can work wherever there is need across the country. The Government of Canada continues to support doctors and nurses with our investments, including initiatives like the expansion of the Canada Student Loan Forgiveness program for doctors and nurses who work in underserved rural or remote communities.
With these significant investments in Budget 2023, and the ongoing work with provinces, territories, and health partners, we will continue to support health workers and our public health care system as they are essential to our well-being—and are an important foundation of a growing, healthy economy.
While Jean-Yves Duclos said, Minister of Health, “Better health care for Canadians means supporting our healthcare workers and ensuring patients receive timely access to health services they need and deserve. This includes improving community services, supporting caregivers, and increasing access to community mental health services, especially in rural and remote areas. Budget 2023 will support our work with provinces and territories to improve health care and build a stronger, more sustainable, and more secure Canadian economy—for everyone.”
And Kamal Khera Minister of Seniors said, “As we prepare for an aging population, it is critical that we invest in home care and community care, while also supporting caregivers. The Canada-Ontario agreement will improve access to these services, as well as mental health and addictions services across the province. This is in addition to Budget 2023 historic investments in our universal publicly-funded healthcare system to deliver better outcomes for all Canadians — regardless of their ability to pay.”
Sylvia Jones, Ontario Deputy Premier and Minister of Health said, “Together with our partners we are working to help connect Ontarians to care closer to home. We will continue implement our bold Your Health plan, we will continue to invest at record levels to strengthen home and community care and mental health supports. We will ensure that Ontarians have multiple avenues to access care for now and for generations to come.”