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Changes to health care funding "an attack on medicare": Roy Romanow

04/02/2015 07:01 EDT | Updated 06/02/2015 05:59 EDT
Former Saskatchewan premier Roy Romanow says changes to federal funding for health care are an "attack on medicare."

In an interview with Rick Cluff on CBC Radio One's The Early Edition the former Premier of Saskatchewan and former chair of the Royal Commission on the Future of Health Care said he's disappointed the Health Accord, which expired March 31, 2014, has not been renewed and that the federal government will transfer $36 billion less to the provinces for health care over the next ten years.

"I'm more disappointed than surprised," said Romanow.

Romanow's 2002 Royal Commission Report, which included 47 recommendations, led to the 2004 Health Accord between the Liberal federal government and the provincial Premiers. The Accord implemented a number of his recommendations, including a provision for stable funding (6 per cent increase per year) from the federal government. 

The new funding formula from the federal Conservative government means that, starting in 2017–18, the Canada Health Transfer will mirror a three-year average of GDP growth, with funding guaranteed to increase by 3 per cent each year.

"What, to me, is even more important than the reduction in the money is the lack of federal will to lead the provincial governments in a cooperative enterprise to make sure that the provisions of the Canada Health Act and the modernization of the health care system is affected," Romanow said.

"To me it's inconceivable that the Prime Minister has never really effectively met with the Premiers on any major Canadian program."

On Tuesday, thousands of people across Canada attended rallies asking the federal government to renew the Health Accord and maintain predictable Medicare funding.

To hear the full interview with Roy Romanow, listen to the audio labelled: Roy Romanow on state of health care

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