first_img the federal government must act on its promise to establish and fund a national pharmacare program, built upon the best practices of individual provincial plans currently in place; the need for an immediate federal infusion to cover 25 per cent of health-care costs, with an escalator to cover increased costs in future years; a commitment that increased federal health transfers won’t be offset by cuts to equalization; strengthening of equalization to be determined through the meeting on fiscal imbalance promised by Prime Minister Paul Martin before the next federal budget. “If accepted by the federal government, this new partnershipwould help Nova Scotia make significant new investments inreducing wait times,” said Premier Hamm. “I look forward to aconstructive discussion with the prime minister in Septemberthrough which Nova Scotia can outline the progress we have madeso far in health-care improvements, the existing challenges weneed to address, and how much money it will take to put healthcare on a sound footing for patients and their families.” Last year, Nova Scotia released Your Health Matters — a multi-year plan to improve health by reducing wait times, hiring moredoctors, nurses and other health professionals, expanding carefor seniors and focusing more on healthy lifestyles. In its final communique, the Council of the Federation recognizedNova Scotia’s leadership role in creating the country’s firstOffice of Health Promotion. “Better health care is not just about treating the patient, it’sabout encouraging people to make better choices for their ownhealth,” said the premier. “That’s why a key part of Your HealthMatters is a focus on healthy living.” Premier Hamm added that all premiers have reiterated theirsupport for being publicly accountable for health-care spending. “Taxpayers deserve to know that their dollars are being properlyspent on health and that those dollars improve access to serviceand the health and well-being of our citizens,” said the premier. Today’s agreement by Canada’s premiers and territorial leaderswill result in better health care for Nova Scotians, if acceptedby Ottawa, Premier John Hamm said today, July 30. “It’s time for action by all governments, not more finger-pointing,” said the premier. “The partnership being proposed isan excellent starting point for a serious and comprehensivediscussion with Ottawa to act now to improve health care.” At the Council of the Federation meeting today at Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., premiers agreed to the following points to present tothe prime minister at the First Ministers’ Meeting scheduled forSeptember:last_img

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