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Health Minister Defends Federal Government's Reduced Role in Health Care

In a recent speech to the Canadian Medical Association general council meeting, Federal health minister Leona Aglukkaq defended the federal government's hands-off role in health care delivery, asserting that decision-making around health care is not a federal responsibility. Aglukkaq said that the role of the federal government is to provide funding and research to facilitate the delivery of health care by the provinces and territories, not to dictate to them how they should deliver services or set priorities. Aglukkaq described how the federal government is focusing its health efforts, noting that besides providing $27 billion in funding to the provinces and territories in 2011–12, the government has provided funding to increase the number of qualified practitioners, including the training of more than 100 family physicians to serve rural and remote communities. She added that each year almost $1 billion is invested in research and innovation aimed at improving health care delivery to patients.


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