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Ford: health care funding agreement should be reached shortly after Feb. 7

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says he hopes the provinces can reach a health care agreement with the federal government soon after his meeting next week with the prime minister.

Ford echoed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's recent comments that an agreement will not be signed at the meeting scheduled for Feb. 7.

But Ford says they should reach an agreement on the Canada Health Transfer "shortly thereafter" because talks cannot drag on when all jurisdictions are feeling health care pressures.

We will go to the meeting and make sure we get the best deal for the people in our provinces and to improve health care across the country. We're going to be very collaborative with the federal government, I think everybody in the country, the premiers, the federal government, everybody, we want to get an agreement, we're at that point, to get the best for the people we represent and that's why we're going to work together and hopefully we'll get it sooner or later. But I agree with the prime minister's comment, obviously we're not going to reach an agreement at the meeting on the 7th, but we should reach it soon after, because the negotiations cannot extend any longer while we continue to feel the pressure on health care.

The premiers want Ottawa to cover 35% of health care costs across the country, up from 22% currently.

Trudeau has said the funding will come with strings attached, including the sharing of health data and outcomes for a national database.

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