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For immediate release
September 1, 2009
WINNIPEG – The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, today announced an investment by the Government of Canada of $135 million for new construction and the renovation of health services infrastructure in First Nations communities across Canada.”Improving the health and well-being of Aboriginal people is of utmost importance to our Government,”" said Minister Aglukkaq. “”This critical investment means new and refurbished health centres and nurses’ residences for many of the remote and isolated First Nations communities served by Health Canada, and will provide immediate economic benefit by creating employment opportunities in those areas.”
This funding, a major stimulus under the Government of Canada’s Economic Action Plan, supports more than 40 projects involving new construction of health services infrastructure, and approximately 230 renovations of existing infrastructure.
Canada’s Economic Action Plan also commits an additional $305 million over two years to strengthen current First Nations and Inuit health programs and improve health outcomes. The $305 million includes:
• $240M to ensure that eligible First Nations people and Inuit continue to receive their critically important Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB), such as dental and vision care, medical transportation, and access to a specified range of drugs not covered by other insurance or programs;
• 65 million to ensure 24/7 availability of nursing services in the remote and isolated First Nations communities served by Health Canada.
Construction on some of the projects began April 1, 2009, with 16 of the approximately 40 new construction projects currently underway (see backgrounder).
All projects and renovations are expected to be completed by March 31, 2011.
The Government of Canada is committed to protecting the health and well-being of First Nations people and Inuit, and recognizes that the timely and effective provision of critical health care services is highly affected by the physical conditions in rural and remote communities.
For more information about the Government’s health policies and initiatives, visit the Health Canada website.
Office of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq
Federal Minister of Health
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