Governments of Canada and Ontario Sign Agreements to Improve Health Care and Services for Substance Use Disorder

OTTAWA, Jan. 23, 2019 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada is working with the provinces and territories to strengthen health care and to address the opioid crisis that continues to devastate individuals, families and communities.

Today, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, and the Honourable Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Ontario Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, signed two bilateral agreements.

The Canada-Ontario bilateral agreement on Shared Health Priorities outlines how the province will invest approximately $1.9 billion in targeted federal funding over five years as part of a ten-year federal financial commitment of approximately $4.2 billion to expand home and community care as well as mental health and addiction services.

The Government of Canada has made historic, new investments in health care through Budget 2017, which committed $11 billion over 10 years in targeted funding for provinces and territories to improve access to mental health and addiction services, as well as for home and community care. Provinces and territories already received the first year of this funding through a legislated transfer following their endorsement of the Common Statement of Principles on Shared Health Priorities.*

In addition, under Canada's Emergency Treatment Fund, the Ministers signed a bilateral agreement to invest more than $102 million—$51.1 million from the Government of Canada and $51.2 million from the province of Ontario—to help increase access to evidence-based treatment services for people with substance use disorder in the province.

Providing people dealing with problematic substance use with access to treatment in their own communities ultimately helps people who use drugs to live healthier lives. Supporting harm reduction measures is an integral part of the Government of Canada's strategy to addressing the opioid crisis.

"I am very pleased to have signed two bilateral agreements with the Government of Ontario to improve health care and treatment services in the province. These agreements will support increased access to mental health services, targeted funding for home and community care, and new and expanded options for the treatment of substance use disorder. Today's announcement is an important step toward ensuring that individuals and families have access to the services that they need for their health and wellbeing."

The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health

Quick Facts

  • To improve home and community care across Canada, the Government of Canada has committed to investing $6 billion over 10 years.
  • Similarly, the Government of Canada has committed to investing $5 billion over 10 years to improve access to mental health and addiction services across the country.
  • Budget 2018 included one-time emergency funding of $150 million for provinces and territories to increase access to evidence-based treatment services. The Emergency Treatment Fund is cost-shared with provinces and territories and will bring the total investment to close to $300 million.

* The federal government has agreed to an asymmetrical arrangement with Quebec, distinct from the Common Statement of Principles.

Related Products
Backgrounder: Canada-Ontario bilateral agreement to improve health care services
Backgrounder: Emergency Treatment Fund

Associated Links
Common Statement of Principles News Release
Common Statement of Principles on Shared Health Priorities
National report: Apparent opioid-related deaths in Canada

SOURCE Health Canada

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