Nova Scotia formally signs 2016 health funding deal with federal government | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Nova Scotia formally signs 2016 health funding deal with federal government

Nova Scotia Health Minister Randy Delorey, left, and Nova Scotia's regional representative in the federal cabinet, Scott Brison sign a bilateral heath deal in Halifax on Thursday, August 30, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Keith Doucette
August 30, 2018 - 12:37 PM

HALIFAX - A bilateral health deal that will see Nova Scotia get $286 million over 10 years from Ottawa for home care and mental health was formally signed in Halifax on Thursday.

Nova Scotia Health Minister Randy Delorey and the province's regional representative in the federal cabinet, Kings-Hants MP Scott Brison, inked an agreement initially reached in December 2016.

The money will be used to improve health care for youth, those who need home care or community care, and mental-health and addiction initiatives.

Brison said the funding is in line with the province's stated priorities.

"The investments we are making today are already making a difference, but will make a significant difference for people with brain injury," Brison said.

Delorey announced that $5 million over four years would be used to help people with acquired brain injuries.

He said the money would go towards a number of initiatives, including an expansion of a program at the IWK Children's Hospital that helps children with brain injuries transition out of hospital, and to improve access to continuing care programs for brain injury survivors.

The funding would also enhance supports for those caring for people with brain injury and to help the Brain Injury Association of Nova Scotia provide survivors and families with more education and support.

Delorey said more details on other specific initiatives would be announced in the coming months.

To date, about $7.8 million of the overall funding package has flowed from the federal government to Nova Scotia, although no funding has been allocated so far for the current fiscal year, Delorey said. Officials said with Thursday's formal signing more money would begin to flow into Nova Scotia's priority areas.

Delorey said the two levels of government have been aligning their priorities since the initial agreement was reached.

"That's why it took a little bit of time before we got pen to paper," Delorey said. "We just had to get the categories lined up for where we are going to put our investments. And then the specific investments, like the one made on acquired brain injury, will be made as they are rolled out."

The funding announced Thursday was welcomed by Leona Burkey, executive director of the Brain Injury Association of Nova Scotia.

Burkey said about 150,000 people in the province are living with some form of disability, with as much as half that number the result of some form of brain injury.

She said the funding will help the association meet tangible goals including improving the overall treatment of brain injuries.

"I've heard more times than I can count, 'God help you if you sustain a brain injury in this province,'" said Burkey. "I truly believe now that we have some significant investment ... we can move from 'God help you,' to 'We can help.'"

News from © The Canadian Press, 2018
The Canadian Press

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