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N.S., Ottawa sign $355M bilateral health-care agreement


The federal and Nova Scotia governments have signed a $355 million, three-year bilateral agreement to improve health-care services in the province.

According to a Wednesday news release, the money aims to make several improvements to the health-care system by 2026, including:

  • improving rural and remote communities’ access to health care through expanded clinic hours, mobile health services, and virtual urgent care
  • increasing the number of registered nurses, family physicians, and nurse practitioners in the province
  • enhancing youth mental health and substance services by adding three active integrated youth services sites by 2026
  • making it easier to access health information, book appointments, and access virtual health services
  • increasing the number of graduates with specialized mental health and addictions services training
  • improving underserved Indigenous health priorities and increasing access to culturally-appropriate mental health and addiction services for Indigenous and African Nova Scotians

"Two years ago, we made a commitment to Nova Scotians: to make mental health and addictions care available to everyone as part of our publicly funded healthcare system -- a Canadian first,” said Brian Comer, Nova Scotia’s minister of addictions and mental health. “With this funding from the federal government, we'll be able to continue the momentum we've built during that time to connect even more people to the mental health and addictions care they need, faster."

Progress on the initiatives earmarked for the funding will be measured against targets the province will publicly report annually, the release says.

"Universal public health care is a priority and a point of pride for Canadians,” said Mark Holland, Canada’s minister of health. “This agreement and action plan, which reflects Nova Scotia's priorities, is one more step in the right direction and will help to expand access to care across the province.”

The federal government is spending more than $200 billion over 10 years to support the Working Together to Improve Health Care for Canadians plan.

For more Nova Scotia news visit our dedicated provincial page. Top Stories

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