Budget 2018 - Equality and Growth
CAPHC is encouraged by the number of investments in Budget 2018 which will directly support health service delivery for children and youth. This federal budget has committed significant funding toward two of our strategic priorities; Indigenous health and mental health and addictions. Investments made in research and other areas of the economy will also lead to improved health for Canada’s children and youth.
CAPHC is pleased to see $4.1 billion over five years to be allocated to the Indigenous population with $1.5 billion going towards health investments. Child welfare and infrastructure are also addressed in this budget and improvements in those areas will also work to lessen the gaps in the health outcomes of Indigenous children.
Mental Health and Addictions
CAPHC has communicated and worked with this government on child and youth health concerns related to the opioid crisis and cannabis legislation.
The federal government has renewed their commitment to addressing the opioid crisis with $230 million over 5 years to support provinces, territories and Indigenous communities through education, improved public health data and other approaches to prevention and treatment with a further $13.5 million annually thereafter.
CAPHC has facilitated discussions between Members of the Senate and paediatric content experts on the topic of cannabis and the pending passing of Bill C-45. We are happy to see that the government proposes to provide $62.5 million over five years to fund public education on the associated risks of cannabis use. A further $10 million over five years is earmarked to both the Mental Health Commission of Canada to help assess the impact of cannabis use on the mental health of Canadians, and the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction to support research on cannabis use in this country.
Science and Research
Budget 2018 is set to allocate nearly $4 billion dollars for research with $354.7 million going to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Our hope is that the CIHR Institute of Human Development Child and Youth Health will receive a significant percentage of that funding to enhance research in child health.
Among many specific research investments $20 million will be committed over 5 years for community programs and online resources to support Canadians impacted by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
Healthy, Safe and Active Lives
Children are healthier when they have a safe place to live, healthy food and are physically active. The 2018 federal budget proposes the following to assist the development of healthy children:
- An increase of $1.25 billion to the Rental Construction Financing Initiative is intended to support the construction of more than 14,000 new rental units across Canada.
- An indexed Canada Child Benefit providing an additional $5.6 billion over 5 years to low and middle-income families
- An investment of $25 million over 5 years to support ParticipACTION
CAPHC also applauds the creation of an Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare. We would welcome the opportunity to be part of the dialogue and improve access to appropriate medication for Canada’s children and youth.
CAPHC will continue to advocate to the Federal Government in areas relevant to our members. We welcome every opportunity to work with Members of Parliament and the Senate to raise awareness, inform policy and legislation as a broker to subject matter experts and bring context to issues related to child and youth health.
President & CEO, Canadian Association of Paediatric Health Centres
Executive Director, Paediatric Chairs of Canada