The governments of Canada and Nunavut have signed two bilateral agreements worth more than C$35.6m ($26.2m) aimed at enhancing healthcare access and services in Nunavut.

Under the Working Together Agreement, the Canadian government will offer over C$23.6m in support of three-year action plan to enhance the healthcare system in Nunavut.

The plan focuses on boosting coordination and access to primary care; supporting health worker initiatives; and enhance culturally-appropriate mental health and addiction services.

The Aging with Dignity Agreement will see an investment of over C$12m from the Canadian government towards a five-year action plan that promotes aging with dignity in near home settings, providing access to home care and safe long-term care facilities.

Targets will be set and Nunavut will report annually on the progress of these initiatives, ensuring transparency and accountability.

The agreements will also improve the collection and reporting of health data, simplify credential recognition for international health professionals, and facilitate the movement of key health workers within the country.

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These efforts are aligned with upholding the Canada Health Act, which guarantees healthcare access based on need rather than the ability to pay.

The commitment to addressing Inuit health disparities is a key component of these agreements, with both governments pledging to engage with Inuit partners to support access to quality and culturally-appropriate healthcare services.

The collaboration between Nunavut and the federal government will continue to focus on improving health services for all, particularly Inuit and other underserved populations, ensuring comprehensive care across the territory.

Canada Health Minister Mark Holland said: “These agreements with Nunavut are a big step forward for our healthcare system. They mean better care for the people who live here, in their communities. “Nunavut has its own unique needs and priorities, and these agreements will make sure Nunavummiut gets better healthcare throughout their lives.”