The province and federal government have reached an agreement on health transfers.
It comes after negotiations stalled last month between the health ministers who were looking for as much as a 5.2 per cent increase over three years.
With Ottawa unwilling to budge on numbers, the province has signed a deal.
“Understand we have limited leverage on this, the federal government dictates it. We absolutely need more money for health care and we think it is time to get on with the work,” Health Minister Jim Reiter said Tuesday.
Over the next 10 years, the federal government will provide Saskatchewan with an additional $348.8 million:
- $190.3 million for better home care including addressing critical home care infrastructure requirements; and
- $158.5 million in support of mental health initiatives.
Along with that money, Saskatchewan will also get the legislated health transfer calculated using a three-year moving average of GDP growth or three per cent, whichever is higher.
At negotiations last month, 3.5 per cent was on the table, but Reiter maintained the province hasn’t lost out.
“There is an understanding between the finance minister that that half a per cent that was offered in December will be made up through other avenues,” Reiter explained.
Although it’s still to be negotiated how that money will flow.
The health transfer comes with the provision the two levels of government will develop performance indicators and a new way of reporting to the public whether those targets are being met.
Additionally, the government is being given a year to convince the feds that its two-for-one MRI deal actually works at reducing wait lists.
In November, the federal health minister wrote Saskatchewan was in breach of the Canada Health Act.