COVID-19 will force feds to reconsider health-care funding, Trudeau says

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OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the government will have to consider increasing health-care funding after seeing the toll the virus has taken on the country.

Before the pandemic hit, the federal government was set to open discussions in May with provinces and territories about transfer payments for health care.

Those discussions have since been put off to focus on the more urgent concern of COVID-19.

A recent analysis by the Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy concluded that health-care spending would quickly become unsustainable for provinces, since federal transfer payments weren’t keeping up with rising costs.

Aging populations are a major factor, as every province anticipates higher costs as baby boomers get older.

Trudeau says making sure seniors are well cared for is top of mind in any future spending increases to support provincial health systems.