Premier John Horgan tosses the health-care hot potato to the federal government

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      A recent Angus Reid Institute poll offered up some damning numbers on the B.C. government's handling of health care.

      It showed that 70 percent of respondents felt that the province was doing a lousy job in this area. And 71 percent gave the thumbs down to the NDP government's response to the overdose crisis.

      Almost a million British Columbians—nearly one in five—do not have a family doctor.

      Today, Premier John Horgan issued a statement suggesting that the federal government needs to step up to address these issues.

      Horgan, as chair of the Council of the Federation, acknowledged that he's heard the concerns.

      “Working with the other premiers, I have made it clear to the federal government that they must come to the table to address the lack of federal funding in health care across the country to protect and improve the services people rely on," the B.C. premier said.

      “Canada’s public health-care system began as a 50/50 partnership, but the federal government’s contribution has shrunk to just 22 percent," he continued. "This is not sustainable for our health-care system and we cannot afford to wait. Today, I renew my call to the federal government to provide their fair share and cover 35 percent of the costs."

      Later in his statement, Horgan said that an increased share of funding from Ottawa would enable provinces and territories to hire more health-care workers, provide more surgeries and treatments, and reduce wait times.

      “In British Columbia, hospitals are being built, modernized and expanded," Horgan said. "Thousands of health-care workers have been hired over the last two years, 6,000 of them to care for seniors in long-term care homes or assisted living.

      “We have made historic investments through team-based care in primary care networks, community health centres, Indigenous-led clinics, and urgent and primary care centres to expand access to public health care in this province. We still have a long way to go, and the federal government is needed at the table."

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