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Wednesday, 2 September, 2009

Maybe the recession was good for healthcare, after all

There's been no shortage of criticism of the way the federal government has handled the economic stimulus and deficit-spending strategies, but here's an example of really a healthful stimulus: Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq just announced $135 million in new funding for construction and renovation of healthcare infrastructure in First Nations communities.

"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," she said in .

Health Canada's funding to its First Nations and Inuit Health branch was $2.2 billion at (accounting for nearly 52% of Health Canada's budget), which means that an extra $135 million for infrastructure is not an inconsequential amount. To give you a sense of how it compares to the department's other programs, $135 million is around half of a typical year's expenses on Health Products and Food for the entire country.

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