B.C. Health Minister Terry Lake is retiring from politics next spring.

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

Salmon Arm RCMP nabbed two Calgary suspects in an allegedly stolen vehicle on Highway 1 on Nov. 22, 2020. (File photo)
Salmon Arm RCMP use spike belts on Highway 1 to nab Calgary suspects

Arrests occur after Revelstoke RCMP clock allegedly stolen vehicle going faster than 160 km/h

RCMP Cpl. Cory Lepine pictured at BC Livestock Producers Co. in Kamloops, Nov. 16. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Meet B.C.’s only cowboy cop; a voice for the livestock industry

Cpl. Cory Lepine serves as a bridge between the law and those who make a living off the land

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League is mouring the death of former president Len Dergousoff of Salmon Arm. The longtime Revelstoke Grizziies board member, who was president from 1999-2002, lost a year-long battle with cancer at age 80. (Dergousoff family photo)
Former KIJHL president dies after cancer battle

Len Dergousoff, 80, of Salmon Arm, was longtime Revelstoke Grizzlies exec, president 1999-2002

Social media, including sites like Facebook, play an important role in contemporary society. (Dreamstime/TNS photo)
QUIZ: How much do you know about social behaviour?

Social conventions, including social distancing, are part of living in a society

Kyle Charles poses for a photo in Edmonton on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Marvel Entertainment, the biggest comic book publisher in the world, hired the 34-year-old First Nations illustrator as one of the artists involved in Marvel Voice: Indigenous Voices #1 in August. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
VIDEO: Indigenous illustrator of new Marvel comic hopes Aboriginal women feel inspired

Kyle Charles says Indigenous women around the world have reached out

B.C. Liberal MLA Shirley Bond questions NDP government ministers in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 19, 2020. (Hansard TV)
Cabinet veteran Shirley Bond chosen interim leader of B.C. Liberals

28-member opposition prepares for December legislature session

(The Canadian Press)
‘Electric blue’ fentanyl sparks drug alert in Vernon

Interior Health issues alert based on testing; no reports of overdoses linked to specific substance at this time

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, November 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-19: What do rising positivity rates mean for B.C.? It’s not entirely clear

Coronavirus cases are on the rise but the province has not unveiled clear thresholds for further measures

Two fibreglass bees were stolen from Vernon’s Planet Bee Honey Farm Nov. 22, 2020. (Facebook)
Thief buzzes off with bee sculptures from Vernon honey farm

Planet Bee lost two bee sculptures Sunday night

A rider carves a path on Yanks Peak Saturday, Nov. 21. Two men from Prince George went missing on the mountain the next day. One of them, Colin Jalbert, made it back after digging out his sled from four feet under the snow. The other, Mike Harbak, is still missing. Local search and rescue teams went out looking Monday, Nov. 23. (Sam Fait Photo)
‘I could still be the one out there’: Snowmobiler rescued, 1 missing on northern B.C. mountain

As Quesnel search and rescue teams search for the remaining rider, Colin Jalbert is resting at home

More than 70 anglers participated in the bar-fishing demonstration fishery on Sept. 9, 2020 on the Fraser River near Chilliwack. DFO officers ticketed six people and seized four rods. A court date is set for Dec. 1, 2020. (Jennifer Feinberg/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Anglers ticketed in Fraser River demonstration fishery heading to court

Sportfishing groups started a GoFundMe with almost $20K so far for legal defence of six anglers

Pictured is the Cranbrook gravel pit, located between two graveyards near the public works yard. This is where two lost kids were located by a Salvador Ready Mix driver on Thursday, November 19, 2020. (Corey Bullock/Cranbrook Townsman file)
Two lost Cranbrook kids find their way home thanks to Salvador Ready Mix driver

The driver found the children wandering near the gravel pits in Cranbrook

Care home staff are diligent about wearing personal protective equipment when they are in contact with residents, but less so when they interact with other staff members, B.C. Seniors Advocate says. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
More COVID-19 testing needed for senior home staff, B.C.’s advocate says

Employees mingling spotted as virus conductor in many workplaces

Most Read