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Alberta signs $24B, 10-year health funding deal with Ottawa

By The Canadian Press and Alejandro Melgar

Alberta has become the latest province to sign an agreement in principle with Ottawa on health-care funding.

The federal government says in a news release that more than $24 billion is to be invested in Alberta’s health-care system over the next 10 years.

That includes $2.9 billion for a new bilateral agreement focused on shared health priorities and $233 million in an immediate, one-time top up to the Canada Health Transfer to address urgent needs.

Those urgent needs include help for pediatric hospitals and emergency rooms, as well as addressing long wait times for surgeries.

“Today’s agreement in principle with Alberta is an opportunity to continue our collaboration and improve the experience of health workers and those they care for,” said Canadian Minister of Health Jean-Yves Duclos in the release.

“Better quality of care means helping Albertans and Canadians live longer, healthier lives.”

The agreement in principle comes after the federal government signed a 10 year $196 billion health care deal with the provinces in early February, which includes $46 billion in funding to improve health care.

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Alberta Premier Danielle Smith says the agreement in principle will support the province’s efforts to improve health care.

“We are leading the country in health-care reform and are focused on ensuring Albertans can access world-class care when and where they need it,” she said in a written statement.

“This is a productive first step, and I look forward to continued discussions with the Government of Canada on how we can achieve longer-term sustainable funding.'”

Alberta is the seventh province to sign on, after the four Atlantic provinces, Ontario and Manitoba.

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