Premier calls for equitable funding from federal healthcare proposal

Nunavut Premier P.J. Akeeagok today released the following statement:

“As negotiations continue with Canada, the Government of Nunavut is advocating for increased access to reliable healthcare for Nunavummiut.

“On February 15, I welcomed to Iqaluit the federal Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Dominic Leblanc, and Minister of Health Jean-Yves Duclos. Nunavut Health Minister John Main and Finance Minister Lorne Kusugak joined our discussion. This meeting leaves us encouraged.

“Still, as we progress towards negotiations on the Canada Health Transfer (CHT) and other bilateral agreements for health funds, I must highlight a need for investments through the Territorial Health Investment Fund (THIF). Nunavut relies on this federal investment to offset the high costs of delivering healthcare services unaccounted for in per-capita transfers.

“Nunavut’s allocation of THIF has long stood at 50%, currently $13.5 million annually, to reflect our territory’s vast and unique complexities that are beyond any jurisdiction in Canada, including our fellow territories.

“Together with the Northwest Territories (NWT) and Yukon, our government has written to Prime Minister Trudeau, calling on the federal government to reconsider a proposal the territories presented in November. This proposal would set the Territorial Health Investment Fund at $75 million per year – 50% for Nunavut, 26% for NWT, and 24% for Yukon.

“All Canadian premiers recognize the unique circumstances of the territories and have expressed strong support for providing enhanced territorial fiscal certainty.

“I look forward to working in partnership with the federal government to reach a renewed agreement that supports the needs of Nunavummiut through clear and reliable healthcare funding.”