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To meet its commitments under the 2003 First Ministers Health Accord, the government of Canada will provide a $17.3 billion increase in health care funding over the next three years, which will rise to $34.8 billion over five years. We will:
On February 20, 2003 the Government of Canada also agreed to provide a total of $60 million in funding over the next five years to the three northern territories, in addition to the per capita funding announced at the 2003 First Minister's Meeting. This is intended to take into account the unique circumstances facing Nunavut, Yukon and the Northwest Territories with respect to funding health care in the North.
The Accord also supports initiatives to advance patient safety, health human resources, technology assessment, innovation and research, and healthy living.
Annual reporting to Canadians will be facilitated by the creation of a Health Council made up of Canadians, representatives of both orders of government and experts. Their work will enable Canadians to assess health system performance and the pace of implementation of the Accord. To improve reporting, the Accord contains clear objectives and a commitment to achieving comparable indicators on health system performance.
Working toward change
This Accord marks a turning point in our efforts to renew health care for the 21 st century. Change will take time. The Accord builds on and accelerates the work agreed to in September 2000 and the important reforms all governments have already made to improve the quality, accessibility and sustainability of the public health care system.
Today, we have taken an important step to strengthen and renew our health care system and help Canadians maintain and protect their health.