Backgrounder: Canada–New Brunswick bilateral agreement to improve health care services


December 2017

Today, the governments of Canada and New Brunswick signed a bilateral agreement outlining how New Brunswick plans to invest $104 million in targeted federal funding to improve access to home and community care and mental health and addiction services. This agreement covers the first five years of the ten-year federal health funding commitment. In 2021-22, this agreement will be renewed for the remaining 5 years of the 10-year commitment.

This funding will support the province's priorities as set out in the New Brunswick Family Plan‎. It also aligns with the objectives and pan-Canadian priorities set out in the Common Statement of Principles on Shared Health Priorities. 

  • Initiate a province-wide integrated Community and Home Care Support System.
  • Support investment in palliative care to educate providers and New Brunswick residents, develop residential hospice beds, and establish a new physician model for integrated community-based palliative care services.
  • Improve primary health care integration in New Brunswick by bringing the Extra-Mural Program, Ambulance New Brunswick and the Tele-Care 811 systems under one management structure, to improve access to primary health care services.
  • Invest in an Action Plan on addictions and mental health.
  • Support the expansion of our network of excellence on child and youth with complex mental health needs.

Federal Provincial and Territorial Collaboration to Strengthen Health Care

Budget 2017 confirmed $11 billion over 10 years in new federal investments to improve access to mental health and addiction services, as well as to home and community care across Canada. 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. Funding for the remaining years will flow to provinces and territories through a series of bilateral agreements.

The Common Statement of Principles sets out the objectives and pan-Canadian priorities for federal investments in home care and mental health. The agreement sets out details of ‎how the agreed-upon federal funds will be spent and is a result of the endorsement by the federal government, provinces and territories* on a Common Statement of Principles. It commits governments to address specific health system gaps and focus efforts in areas that will have the greatest impact. Bilateral agreements will set out details of how federal funding will be used in alignment with the Common Statement of Principles. As of August 2017, provinces and territories accepted their share of the $11 billion in federal health funding.

Provinces and territories have also committed to working collectively and with the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) to develop a focused set of common indicators to measure progress and report to Canadians. 

Federal, provincial and territorial governments have also committed to engaging with regional and national Indigenous leaders on their priorities for improving the health outcomes of Indigenous peoples.

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

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