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 Summit of the Americas 2001

The Health Action Plan

September 11, 2000

First Ministers today reached an historic and unanimous consensus on a comprehensive and forward-looking Health Action Plan.

The Health Action Plan is about sustaining and modernizing the Canada’s publicly-funded health care system to meet the immediate and long-term health needs of Canadians in the 21st century.

It also provides for a reporting framework that will allow Canadians to know that the quality of care available to them is improving, as well as provide governments with tools to better manage our healthcare system.

Delivering on our longstanding commitment, the Government of Canada will generously support the Plan by investing over $21.2 billion over 5 years for health through the Canada Health and Social Transfer (CHST) -- the transfer through which the federal government provides funding for health care, post-secondary education and other social services.

This substantial investment builds on the more than $15 billion that we have invested since 1999 in support of the renewal of the health system through the (CHST), research and other health promotion programs.

The Health Action Plan provides $2.3 billion in federal funding to address jointly-agreed priorities in three key areas:

  •  Upgrading hospital and diagnostic equipment;
  •  Providing better access to doctors; nurses and frontline health care services; and,
  • Making more and better use of information and communications technologies.

The Health Action Plan is proof of our long-held view that we can achieve long term, sustainable renewal without sacrificing the principles of the Canada Health Act.

Canadians can continue to count on the universally accessible, publicly administered health care system -- Medicare -- that is a cornerstone of Canada’s unmatched quality of life.

The Health Action Plan - the first federal/provincial/territorial agreement of the 21st century - proves, one again, that Canada works. It is an example of what Canadians want to see: their governments working together to ensure timely, high quality health care.

The Plan promotes better coordination among governments while recognizing the need for flexibility for individual jurisdictions to respond to the particular needs of their citizens.

Highlights of the Health Action Plan:

$21.2 billion in new transfers to the provinces for health over five years; including    
  • A $1 billion fund available to provinces and territories to upgrade hospital and diagnostic equipment;  
  •  $800 million to fund projects to better provide access to doctors; nurses and frontline health care services.
  • $500 million to fund better use of information technology in the health care system;
  • A joint Action Plan for governments to work collaboratively in areas like primary care, doctor and nurse supply, pharmaceuticals and others;
  • A commitment by governments to account to Canadians on how their tax dollars are being spent in the health care system; and,
  • And to report regularly to Canadians on how the system is performing.

The Health Action Plan: Reporting To Canadians

First Ministers have agreed that a reporting framework should be developed and put in place to report to Canadians and ensure the success of the plan.

Health Ministers will work with experts to report to Canadians by September, 2002 on a set of jointly-agreed comparable indicators addressing health status, health outcomes and the quality of health care services.


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