As you note in your article, we also need to change the way health care services
are delivered. While additional funding will be part of the answer, improving access
to high-quality health care requires more than money - it also requires strategic
changes to the way health care services are delivered, and a collective approach
to make the right changes. The First Ministers have made a commitment to continue
needed reforms that will strengthen our public health care system. for this reason,
the Government of Canada will also provide $2.3 billion to the provinces and territories
to upgrade aging medical equipment, to improve around-the-clock acces to more integrated
health care services and to seize the tremendous potential of information technologies.
The First Ministers also agreed to work together to develop a new accountability
framework. From September 2002 on, the federal, provincial and territorial governments
will regularly report to the public on the delivery of health care services, health
system perfromances and our progress toward agreed upon priories.
I believe that this agreement is significant for Canada's health care system because
it will make a difference to the real people out there on waiting lists and in hospital
beds, and it is an important investment in the future of our health care system.
As Minister of Health, I am committed to continue working with the provincial and
territorial governments to ensure that we have a quality health care system that
meets the needs of Canadians.
Once again, thank you for writing, and please accept my best wishes.
Yours very truly,