Health talks end with no agreement as federal government withdraws

The federal government has withdrawn from a joint communique with provincial and territorial health ministers, ending a widely expected meeting in Vancouver without any agreement on increased healthcare funding.

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix called the end of the meeting “disappointing” after saying provincial and territorial ministers unanimously supported a request to increase federal funding from 22 per cent to 35 per cent.

However, Dix said the federal government withdrew from the joint communiqué and subsequent press conference because it was unhappy with the statement made by the Canadian prime minister today.

The statement reiterated the Prime Minister’s request for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to meet them at the National Conference on Federal Medical Diversion.

Federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said on Monday that the government was ready to push for a transfer under various conditions, including a commitment to a common set of health benchmarks and data-sharing, a move Trudeau echoed.

But Dix said provincial and territorial ministers “couldn’t move forward” based on what he called the “little voice of the prime minister”.

“They decided not to participate,” Dix said of the federal government.

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