NEWS

Adrian Dix scorns B.C. minister on health funding

12/21/2011 10:24 EST | Updated 02/20/2012 05:12 EST

The Christy Clark government has failed British Columbians and should be speaking out strongly against Ottawa's new funding formula for health, says B.C. NDP leader Adrian Dix.

Dix said provincial Finance Minister Kevin Falcon must take a stronger stand on federal health transfers, which will cost B.C. hugely when Ottawa shifts its basis for funding.

"Our premier and our finance minister didn't stand up for B.C. and really there is no justification for that approach," Dix said Wednesday.

The federal government plans to link health transfers to economic growth starting in 2017.

Falcon appears to be standing alone in endorsing that plan, which other provinces have described as a slap in the face.

But the B.C minister said he is more concerned about a separate but related change: The federal government will start calculating its health transfers on a per-capita basis in 2014.

B.C. will lose about $250 million a year, because it has an aging population and its costs are higher, Falcon said..

Falcon said he'll push Ottawa to tweak the formula, but for Dix that's not strong enough and he accused Falcon of simply trying curry favour with the federal Conservatives.

"I think B.C. wants a government that will fight for health care and fight for British Columbia," said Dix.

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