B.C. health minister pushing for age-based federal funding

Currently, each province gets funding from the federal government based on a per capita basis. Minister Terry Lake believes it should be based on demographics, not population.

Current system is a disadvantage to B.C. because province has lots of seniors, says Minister Terry Lake

Currently, each province gets funding from the federal government based on a per capita basis. Minister Terry Lake believes it should be based on demographics not population. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

B.C. Health Minister Terry Lake says he will urge Ottawa to change the way health transfers are made during next week's federal-provincial meeting.

On Jan. 20 and 21 provincial and territorial health ministers will meet with federal Health Minister Jane Philpott in Vancouver in the hopes of creating a new national health accord.

Currently, each province gets funding from the federal government based on a per capita basis.

But Minister Lake says the amount of money a province receives for health care should reflect the age of its population. 

"To have a pure per-capita transfer, it was a disadvantage to populations like B.C. that have lots of seniors and an advantage to populations like Alberta that are younger," said Lake. 

"We are not happy with the changes made by the previous government to the Canadian health transfer," he said. 

Premier Christy Clark says the transfers should go back to an age-adjusted per-capita formula.

"We are one of the only countries in the world that doesn't recognize that any more. We need to go back to that," she said. 

With files from Richard Zussman

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