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Doug Ford, Justin Trudeau to sign $3.1B health-care funding deal

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Doug Ford will sign an agreement on Friday that details how the province must spend billions of extra federal dollars earmarked for health care. 

The deal stems from a national health funding summit in February 2023, when Trudeau’s government offered to boost the Canada Health Transfer.    

Although Ontario and the federal government reached an agreement in principle that same month, the two sides have been working out the details ever since.

The agreement to be signed Friday covers $3.1 billion dollars from Ottawa, a provincial source told CBC News. 

As part of the deal, the source said the provincial government must create new primary health-care teams, open another 700 spots in medical education programs, and improve its tracking and reporting of health system data. 

The agreement comes as Ontario’s health system faces a severe staffing crunch, while a record high number of patients lack a family doctor and the ripple effects create lengthy wait times at hospital emergency rooms.  

Last week, Ontario’s Health Minister Sylvia Jones announced $110 million in funding to add 400 health professionals in 78 new or expanded primary care teams across the province. The source said the new federal funding for primary health teams comes on top of that announcement.

The source said the new deal also includes federal funding to support the province’s plan to give health-care professionals who are licensed elsewhere in Canada the automatic right to practice in Ontario. 

Trudeau and Ford are scheduled to sign the agreement in King City, north of Toronto.

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