New bill tabled to give provinces $2B to relieve pandemic surgery backlogs

The federal government has tabled a new bill that includes a proposal to distribute $2 billion to the provinces and territories to help alleviate surgery backlogs caused by COVID-19, sources confirmed to CTV News.

The funds will be delivered on a per-capita basis.

In their last election campaign platform, the Liberals pledged to invest $6 billion to help eliminate waitlists made worse by the pandemic, in addition to $4 billion already committed.

Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos will be delivering a speech later today in Ottawa with more details about the funds.

Provincial governments have long been calling for a boost to the Canada Health Transfer (CHT).

Since 2017-18, the CHT formula is set to grow in line with a three-year moving average of nominal gross domestic product, with a baseline increase of at least three per cent per year.

The federal government’s contribution is currently approximately 22 per cent of health spending, but the provinces would like to see that grow to approximately 35 per cent.

With files from CTV News’ Mike Le Couteur

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