B.C. Health Minister Terry Lake is retiring from politics next spring.

Health care costs rising faster, Lake warns

Health ministers meet in Ottawa, federal minister Jane Philpott is keeping the Stephen Harper cap on increases in health transfers

B.C. has kept annual growth of its health care budget below three per cent in recent years, but it won’t last forever, Health Minister Terry Lake says.

At meetings with provincial and territorial ministers in Toronto this week, Lake said the expectation of care by aging baby boomers, along with a pressing need to expand mental health and addiction services, mean health care bills will continue to grow toward half of provincial budgets.

“There’s no doubt that the federal government has indicated a willingness to create a long-term agreement with provinces and territories on health care funding,” Lake said at a closing news conference. “We look forward to seeing what that will look like.”

It’s the first health ministers’ meeting since federal Health Minister Jane Philpott surprised provinces by carrying on with the previous Conservative government’s limits on health spending growth. The Justin Trudeau government is discontinuing the six per cent annual increases in transfer payments put in place by the Paul Martin Liberal government, and has budgeted for a three per cent increase next year.

Trudeau and Philpott have promised to direct an additional $3 billion to home care, including palliative care.

Dr. Granger Avery, the former Port McNeill family doctor who took over this year as president of the Canadian Medical Association, said the first priority is to “act on health care renewal now.” The CMA has long argued that Canada’s monopoly health care system retains a post-war acute care hospital model in a country dominated by chronic care patients.

B.C. points to its rising share of retirees as a factor Ottawa should consider in its funding formula. Nova Scotia health minister Leo Glavine said t’s the Atlantic provinces that have the highest proportion of seniors.

 

Just Posted

Community efforts raise money for service dog to help Agassiz boy stay calm, happy

Riley, a two-year-old Lhasa Apso-Chihuahua cross has made a huge difference in Chase Frayn’s life

WATCH: Today, we remember: community members visit Agassiz cenotaph on Remembrance Day

Royal Canadian Legion members, veterans, first responders, residents gather to pay their respects

B.C. Legions in need of young members to continue aiding veterans into the future

Lest we forget what thousands of men and women did to fight for Canada’s freedoms – but without new membership, many Legion chapters face dwindling numbers

Agassiz Harrison school bus driver starts petition to get seatbelts on school buses

Petition come on the tail of Transport Canada announcement to investigate school bus data

Hope man says he faced racial discrimination from security guards at Chilliwack Library

Mike Wilson, 66, said he was minding his own business when he was led out by three security guards

VIDEO: Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee dies

Marvel co-creator was well-known for making cameo appearances in superhero movies

B.C. health care payroll tax approved, takes effect Jan. 1

Employers calculating cost, including property taxes increases

Nunavut urges new plan to deal with too many polar bears

Territory recommends a proposal that contradicts much of conventional scientific thinking

18-year-old to hospital after shots fired in White Rock

Police investigating early-morning incident

Shelter struggles: Landlord takes over rental unit whenever visiting B.C. town

Renter’s story highlights how hard it is to find accommodation in Revelstoke

‘Weird Al’ brings Strings Attached tour to Lower Mainland next summer

Legendary musical satirist performs with full symphony orchestra

Lack of public response threatens B.C. referendum credibility

Of the few who have voted, poll finds most rejected proportional representation

Tentative deal reached in NHL concussion lawsuit

More than 100 former players accused the league of failing to better prevent head trauma

Grim search for more fire victims; 31 dead across California

More than 8,000 firefighters battled wildfires that scorched at least 1,040 square kilometres

Most Read