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Trudeau to meet with premiers on Feb. 7

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that he has invited premiers to Ottawa for a "working meeting" to discuss a health care funding agreement on Feb. 7.

Trudeau says he sent the invitation Wednesday morning and sees the meeting as an opportunity to "share with them our plans to support health care systems across the country."

The prime minister said that while providing money will be part of the solution, funding alone will not solve the long-term problems facing this country's health care system.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Canada's premiers will meet in Ottawa next month in an attempt to find a new health care funding deal.

Let's be clear, providing more money is part of the solution and we will, but funding alone will not solve the problems we have been experiencing. Canadians need better outcomes, including greater access to family physicians no matter where they live, a robust and sustainable health care workforce system, timely access to mental health care, and digital health record information that can be accessed by the health professionals they consult with. This morning I invited premiers to join us in Ottawa on February 7 for a working meeting on health care. It will be an opportunity to share with them our plans on how to support the health care system across the country, discuss investment priorities and begin to work together concretely on ensuring transparency on how these funds will be invested. This will give Canadians the confidence that they will get the quality health care they deserve for years to come.

The prime minister and his cabinet are on the third and final day of a retreat in Hamilton, Ont. before Parliament returns next week. Ongoing negotiations toward a new health care funding pact have been front and center throughout the retreat.

Premiers and the federal government have been negotiating a new deal for months. Doug Ford was the first to publicly confirm his attendance at the meeting with the premier. Meeting that the provinces had been requesting for months.

Canada's health care system is strained to the breaking point after three years of COVID-19 and a growing shortage of health care workers.

Premiers are calling for Ottawa to increase its share of health care budgets to 35% from about 22% now.

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