As we recover from the pandemic and build a better future for everyone, we must address the existing challenges in our health care system that were laid bare by the pandemic, including for seniors and people living in rural and remote communities. By working with the provinces and territories and investing in our publicly funded health care system that Canadians are so proud of, we will provide Canadians with the quality health care they deserve, no matter where they live.
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, and New Brunswick’s Minister of Social Development, Bruce Fitch, today announced the signing of a bilateral agreement to improve care for residents of the province’s long-term care homes through the Safe Long-Term Care Fund (SLTCF).
The COVID-19 pandemic was devastating for Canada’s seniors, particularly those living in long-term care homes. Through this agreement, the federal government will provide more than $22 million to support New Brunswick’s long-term care homes and assisted retirement facilities throughout the province. This funding will help them retain and hire staff, implement infection prevention and control measures, and renovate or upgrade heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.
The Prime Minister also highlighted some of the key measures proposed in the federal government’s Budget 2022: A Plan to Grow Our Economy and Make Life More Affordable and other recently announced investments to support health care workers and improve access to quality health care for Canadians, in particular seniors and people in rural and remote communities.
These measures include:
- Reducing surgery and procedure backlogs by proposing to provide provinces and territories with an additional $2 billion through a one-time Canada Health Transfer (CHT) top-up to ensure nurses and hospital staff have the resources necessary to repair the damage caused to our health care system by the pandemic.
- Bringing more health care workers to the communities that need them most by increasing Canada Student Loans forgiveness by 50 per cent for doctors and nurses working in underserved rural or remote communities and expanding the list of eligible professionals under the program.
- Helping improve quality of life for Canada’s aging population by investing in innovations in brain health and aging through the Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation; and ramping up efforts to learn more about dementia and brain health, improve treatment and outcomes for persons living with dementia, and evaluate and address mental health impacts on caregivers and models of care by supporting the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
- Supporting the mental health and well-being of Canadians by providing $140 million over two years for the Wellness Together Canada portal so it can continue to provide Canadians with tools and services to support their mental health and well-being.
- Researching the long-term impacts of COVID-19 on Canadians and our health care system by providing $20 million over five years to support additional research efforts.
Building on historic investments in our health care system throughout the pandemic, Budget 2022 proposes new measures to ensure our system can continue to deliver the care Canadians deserve, no matter who they are or where they live. The Government of Canada will continue to work with provinces and territories to support Canadians as they age, invest in our health care workers and make our health care system more accessible, particularly in rural and remote communities. This is a key part of our plan to make life more affordable, create jobs and prosperity today, grow the middle class, and build a stronger economic future for everyone.
“All Canadians should have access to the safe, quality health care they need and deserve. Today’s agreement is good news for people in New Brunswick, and we will continue to work with all provinces and territories to help ensure everyone no matter where they live in Canada, has access to the health care they deserve, including safe long-term care.”
“Canadians are proud of our publicly funded health care system, and justifiably so. The past two years have reinforced the importance of continuing to invest in health care, and from helping tackle backlogs in surgeries and procedures to making it easier for Canadians to see a doctor or a dentist, Budget 2022 makes important investments that will help ensure people in New Brunswick – and across Canada – can receive the care they need and deserve.”
“New Brunswick’s network of long-term care facilities plays a key role in providing quality care for the province’s aging population. For the past two years, long-term care workers have been dedicated in keeping residents in our nursing homes and special care homes safe from COVID-19. In partnership with the federal government, we plan to continue improving the quality of care in New Brunswick’s nursing homes.”
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