Federal Health Transfers to the Provinces: Expensive and Ineffective

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This Alert examines the effectiveness of marked increases in federal cash transfers to the provinces in promoting a better and improved Canadian health care system. The first section outlines federal transfers to the provinces for health; the second examines a series of health care performance indicators in 1997 and compares current performance to determine if any changes have occurred.

With the prospect of another federal election around the corner, in which health care will inevitably play a leading role, and the federal budget approaching quickly with rumours of a new or expanded transfer, a review of the performance of existing federal health transfers is timely. This Alert examines the effectiveness of marked increases in federal cash transfers to the provinces in promoting a better and improved Canadian health care system. The first section outlines federal transfers to the provinces for health; the second examines a series of health care performance indicators in 1997 and compares current performance to determine if any changes have occurred.


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