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.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

An image from Castlegar city council on Zoom.
Castlegar council decides to keep meeting online

City council meetings will remain online at least until January

There has been COVID-19 exposures at two elementary schools in District 42. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 24 additional COVID-19 cases

This includes three school exposures in Kelowna

The portion of highway is down to single-lane alternating traffic. Photo: Connor Trembley
Commercial trailer catches fire near Castlegar

Traffic was delayed along Hwy 3

Numbers indicate positive COVID-19 tests, January through September. Map: BC Centre for Disease Control
Twenty-five cases of COVID-19 reported in Nelson, Castlegar and Trail in 2020

New data from the BC Centre for Disease Control shows numbers of cases per community

Castlegar Search and Rescue members practicing their skills at the Kinnaird Bluffs. Photo: submitted
Why search and rescue is a free, non-judgmental service in B.C.

Castlegar Search and Rescue talks about why they do what they do

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

An elderly woman wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 walks past an advertisement for a television series in Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. has been under a COVID-19 state of emergency for more than half the year

Province has been under a state of emergency for 32 weeks – and counting

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 to win the baseball World Series in Game 6 Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
L.A. Dodgers beat Rays 3-1 to win 1st World Series title since 1988

National League champs claim crown in six games

Seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa was found dead in an apartment in Langley in July. (Langley Advance Times files)
Child’s body cold, no pulse: Off-duty cop testifies in Langley mother’s murder trial

The seven-year-old girl’s mother faces a first-degree murder charge

People march during a climate strike in Montreal, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Judge rejects 15 youths’ climate change lawsuit against Canadian government

Justice Michael Manson has granted the government’s motion to strike the plaintiffs’ claim

A woman walks through check in at WestJet at Pearson International airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Strong support for pre-flight COVID testing ahead of upcoming WestJet trial: YVR

Airport is partnering with UBC, which is helping choose the method of pre-flight testing

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau says pandemic ‘really sucks,’ and that Christmas gatherings are up in the air

The prime minister encouraged residents to continue to follow the advice of local health authorities

Most Read