Shared Health Priorities and Safe Long-term Care Fund

The Government of Canada is committed to working in partnership with provincial and territorial governments to strengthen health care systems so that they continue to meet the needs of Canadians. With an aging population, new technologies and increasing rates of chronic disease, it is more important than ever that our health care systems adapt to deliver better care and better outcomes at a cost that is affordable.

The Government of Canada has taken leadership in engaging with provinces and territories to address key health care priorities. Budget 2017 confirmed an investment of $11 billion over ten years to provinces and territories specifically targeted to improve home and community care and mental health and addiction services. The Government has also allocated $544 million over five years to federal and pan-Canadian health organizations to support health innovation and pharmaceutical initiatives.

In August 2017, all provinces and territoriesFootnote * agreed to a Common Statement of Principles on Shared Health Priorities, which outlines common priorities for action in home and community care, and in mental health and addiction services.

The 2020 Fall Economic Statement committed $1B to provinces and territories through the Safe Long-term Care Fund (SLTCF). In 2021, the Government of Canada and provinces and territories will amend the existing bilateral agreements to support greater infection prevention and control in long-term care facilities and seniors’ residences providing continuing care services.

Bilateral Agreements

Home and Community Care and Mental Health and Addiction Services

Following the August 2017 agreement on a Common Statement of Principles on Shared Health Priorities, the federal government negotiated and signed bilateral agreements with each province and territory that set out details of how each jurisdiction is using federal funding to improve access to home and community care and mental health and addiction services. Agreements are available below, and will be renewed in 2021-22 for the remaining 5 years of funding.

The federal funding for home and community care flowing through these agreements is supporting initiatives that:

  • better coordinate and integrate care,
  • enhance digital connectivity and the use of remote technology so patients can get care at home,
  • provide caregivers with more education supports and expanded respite services, and
  • improve access to palliative and end-of-life supports.

In the area of mental health and addiction services, these federal investments support initiatives that:

  • increase the availability of mental health and addiction services in the community,
  • improve access to school-based programs for early prevention, detection and treatment, and
  • expand access to crisis intervention services and integrated multidisciplinary professional services.

Safe Long-term Care Fund (2021)

The COVID-19 pandemic has tragically highlighted long-standing and systemic challenges in Canada's LTC system and the Government of Canada knows that Canadians and their families are concerned about the care they are receiving.

Gaps have been exposed and have worsened in infection prevention and control, staffing, overall care and infrastructure. The federal government is investing up to $1 billion through the Safe Long-term Care Fund, to help provinces and territories protect people from COVID-19 in long-term care settings and improve infection prevention and control.

Federal funding will flow through amendments to the bilateral agreements for home and community care and mental health and addiction services. Provinces and territories will be able to use this funding to undertake a range of activities, including carrying out infection prevention and control readiness assessments, making improvements to ventilation and hiring additional staff or topping up wages.

In addition to the Safe Long-term Care Fund, the Government of Canada has:

  • Invested $740M in the Safe Restart Agreements to support provinces and territories in addressing the immediate needs within LTC.
  • Provided up to $3 billion in federal funding to support provinces and territories to increase the wages of low-income essential workers, which could include front line workers in hospitals and LTC facilities.
  • Provided an additional $8.4 million to Healthcare Excellence Canada to support LTC facilities across the country through the LTC+ initiative. Over 1,000 facilities are participating in the program.

As well, Budget 2021 includes a $3B investment over five years ($600M per year), starting in 2022-23, to ensure that provinces and territories provide a high standard of care in their long-term care facilities.

The federal government will continue to work collaboratively with provinces and territories, while respecting their jurisdiction over health care, including long-term care. This work will ensure seniors and those in care live in safe and dignified conditions.

Accountability

To enable Canadians to assess progress on the shared health priorities, the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) led a process with federal, provincial and territorial officials to develop a focused set of common indicators following agreement on the Common Statement of Principles on Shared Health Priorities. In June 2018, FPT Ministers of Health agreed to a set of 12 common indicators for home and community care and mental health and addiction services. In May 2019, CIHI released its inaugural annual report on the first three of these indicators. CIHI will continue to work with governments across Canada to report annually on all 12 indicators.

For Safe Long-term Care funding, provinces and territories have identified, in an action plan annexed to the agreement, performance measures, targets and outcomes, and will report on these through updates to the action plan. Action plans also include information on cost recovery agreements with privately owned facilities receiving funds.

British Columbia

Alberta

Saskatchewan

Manitoba

Ontario

Quebec

New Brunswick

Prince Edward Island

Nova Scotia

Newfoundland and Labrador

Nunavut

Northwest Territories

Yukon

Footnote

Footnote *

The Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec agreed to an asymmetrical arrangement distinct from this Common Statement of Principles and based on the asymmetrical agreements of September 2004.

Return to footnote * referrer

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