Canadian Healthcare Association

Canadian Healthcare Association

March 05, 2010 00:12 ET

Budget 2010 Stays on Course for Health Says CHA

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 4, 2010) - The Canadian Healthcare Association (CHA) acknowledges the difficult decisions faced by Government in crafting today's budget.

"Canada is still facing tough economic times," said Pamela Fralick, President and CEO, Canadian Healthcare Association, "and it is tempting to make cuts."

The government's announcement that the transfer payments to provinces and territories will be maintained is reassuring. Furthermore, this confirmation of its earlier commitment has been strengthened with a one-time payment to six provinces of $525 million, to ensure they do not face a decline in entitlements under health and social transfers, as well as equalization, a move that is welcomed by all. Our expectations are raised that this commitment to the conditions and spirit of the 2004 Accord will be maintained throughout the coming years.

Releasing the funds allocated to Canada Health Infoway in Budget 2009 is the right thing to do. This investment is pivotal to a sustainable, efficient, effective and safe health system.

Some initiatives fell short of our expectations. 

The Speech from the Throne stated, "Our Government will meet the demands of the aging population." The changes in terms of RRSPs and deferred benefit RPPs provide some advantages for seniors who have funds to invest. However, Canadians deserve more; there are additional and better approaches to reduce poverty among seniors:

  • An estimated 2.1 million caregivers provide $25 billion a year in savings to the health system. The Canadian government could use CPP/QPP to benefit these informal caregivers. For instance, the rules of CPP/QPP currently allow working parents to exclude from the calculation of pension benefits the years in which earnings were lowest. This results in higher average earnings and higher pension benefits. However, no such provision exists for other types of caregivers.
  • As the population ages, the issues associated with long term care will become a greater priority. The federal government should consider the adoption of a social insurance model for long term care, similar to the Canada Pension Plan. This would provide equitable distribution of premium costs, with care provided based on need and not on ability to pay. Such a plan would make a significant difference in funding and access issues concerning long term care

"Canadians 'get it' that there is no longer a surplus," said Pamela Fralick. "They also understand that now is the time to deliver health differently. The Canadian Healthcare Association looks forward to working with the government to explore innovative and sustainable solutions to today's health system challenges."

Who We Are
The Canadian Healthcare Association (CHA) has been an active champion of Canada's health system for more than 75 years. We are the only federation of provincial and territorial health associations and organizations representing the breadth of the health system.

Our Vision
CHA is the recognized champion for a sustainable and accountable quality health system that provides access to a continuum of comparable services throughout Canada, while upholding a strong, publicly-funded system as an essential, foundational component of this system.

Our Mission
CHA is a leader in developing, and advocating for, health policy solutions that meet the needs of Canadians.

Contact Information

  • For further information and/or
    to arrange an interview, contact:
    Canadian Healthcare Association
    Teresa Neuman, Communications Specialist
    613-241-8005 x 205 / Mobile: 613-282-6003