The Government of Canada has entered a bilateral agreement with the Newfoundland and Labrador Government, committing nearly C$256m ($188.44m) to enhance healthcare access and services in the province.  

This investment is part of Canada’s broader ‘Working Together’ plan, which aims to inject C$200bn into improving the healthcare system of Canadian state and provinces over the next ten years. 

As part of the latest agreement, Newfoundland and Labrador will receive C$256m in federal funding to support its three-year action plan, designed to deliver significant improvements to its healthcare system.  

The plan includes expanding family health services, increasing primary care access, establishing urgent care centres in the Northeast Avalon region, and adding new positions to execute the Child and Youth Community Health Services Model.  

It further aims to reduce healthcare backlogs by increasing the workforce and services, instituting new care models for surgical backlogs, and expanding orthopaedic surgeries in Carbonear. 

Healthcare providers, including pharmacists, will be empowered to prescribe more medications, and a pilot programme for physician assistants will be launched.  

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The province also plans to continue increasing midwifery positions and enhance mental health and substance use services, ensuring more individuals have access to mental health teams. 

To address staffing challenges, the plan will focus on increasing incentive programmes for hard-to-fill roles and retention programmes that support healthcare workers’ career development.  

New undergraduate medical education seats and Family Medical Residency positions for international graduates will be added at Memorial University. 

The agreement also involves improving services for rural and Indigenous communities, offering community-based services, substance use support, and innovative online mental health services.  

Modernising health data systems is another key initiative, aiming to provide more patients with electronic access to their health records and expand virtual care for rural and remote communities in Newfoundland and Labrador. 

A province-wide emergency response dispatch centre will be implemented as part of the modernisation efforts.  

Canada Health Minister Mark Holland said: “This agreement marks a significant advancement for our health care system, promising improved care for residents and improving overall resilience of our health care infrastructure. Tailored to Newfoundland and Labrador’s unique requirements, this agreement ensures enhanced health care services for all residents.” 

Earlier this month, Canada pledged to invest more than C$35.6m into Nunavut to improve the region’s healthcare system. 

Recently, the Canadian Government also sealed three similar agreements, worth around C$86m, with the Government of Yukon.