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October 28, 2017 12:39 am

Provincial, Territorial Health Ministers Meet in Vancouver

Wednesday, January 20, 2016 @ 4:43 PM

Vancouver, B.C. – Provincial and territorial health ministers from across Canada met in Vancouver today in what B.C. Health Minister Terry Lake called a “very productive meeting.”

At the conclusion of the meeting, he highlighted what was discussed, including:

– A new way forward for health in Canada. “The health ministers envision a more sustainable health care system that provides high quality, easy to access, patient centred care that is more efficient throughout the country.”

– A discussion around the issue of expensive drugs for rare diseases, also known as Orphan drugs. “Provincial and territorial ministers have agreed to work toward a more consistent assessment of these drugs, as well as coverage decisions and also a fair pricing strategy.”

– Newborn screening practices. “We received a Canadian newborn guidance for screening programs. Ministers also directed staff to continue working together focusing on access, equity and sharing of information.”

– Physician assisted dying. “The ministers discussed the work of the province, territorial and expert advisory group on physician assisted dying as well as Quebec’s law and it’s approach to end of life.”

– Mental health, particularly for young people. “We spent time talking about how we can improve care for young people at that transition stage when they’re outgrowing child and youth mental health services and moving into the adult system.”

– Access to primary community care. “We discussed this challenge of primary health care and access as well as innovations being developed in various provinces and territories and agreed to share information about successful innovation in this area.”

-How to best work with indigenous people to address health concerns. “We looked at the role of governments to work together with indigenous parties to promote health and deliver health services to indigenous communities.”

Lake promised all topics discussed today would be brought up again tomorrow when the federal government joins the conversation

“We feel we’ve made very good progress today and we’re eager to continue our collaboration on these issues tomorrow with Minister (Jane) Philpott.”

One issue Lake admitted ministers failed to find consensus on was how to fund the system.

“I can say that we don’t have consensus on the distribution in terms of the Canada Health Transfer,” he said.

“It is the subject of contention because whenever you talk about redistributing funds there are provinces and territories that will win and some that will lose. So I didn’t expect we’d all agree.”

Lake said he expects another hot topic, the legalization of marijuana, will be discussed at tomorrow’s meeting as well.


No comments about healthy lifestyles, or how to maintain a strong immune system or a healthy prostate, healthy heart, healthy eating habits that would have an immediate effect on our population.

Instead, lets continue to focus on sickness & disease & drugs! How’s that working anyway?

Some word on training more family doctors for rural parts of the country would be great as well….

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